If you’re like most Americans, you have more clothes than you know what to do with. Compared to twenty years ago, we buy double the clothes now than in the past, if not more. Many of us have old clothes that we don’t wear in our closets, taking up space that we need and contributing to clutter. And when we do throw our clothes away, we contribute to the growing waste problem in the United States. Every year, over ten billion tons of clothes find their final destination in a landfill, and textiles account for up to 5% of all municipal waste. Every single person in the United States, every single years, discards up to 70 pounds of linens, other fabrics, articles of clothing, and textiles.
Fortunately, donating your used clothing and textiles can help to prevent clothing and textiles from ending up in landfills, as well as going towards a good cause. Charities for wounded soldiers, disaster relief organizations, and purple heart donations all go towards a good cause – and have had a noticeable impact on waste reduction in the United States. In fact, nearly five pounds of used clothing are donated every year, even though only around 15% of all Americans regularly donate their used and old articles of clothing. This has kept an estimated 2 and half billion pounds of clothing from landfills on a yearly basis. As almost 100% of all clothing and textiles can be recycled, all that’s left is finding the right place to donate.
Charities for wounded soldiers often use the profits to provide support to wounded soldiers, but almost half of all donated clothes are not sold but worn secondhand by those who benefit from charities for wounded soldiers as well as other charities. Even just one charitable donation can have a big impact on the lives of people that the charity helps, and charities for wounded soldiers are just one example where the impact is clear. Charities can also help those in third world or developing countries, and donations for non profit organizations are often sent to those countries where they have a second life as secondhand clothing and textiles. As they are sold for a mere fraction of their original price, they are highly affordable for the people living in developing nations, giving them access to quality goods at a price that is feasible and not prohibitive.
No matter what charity organizations you choose to support, clothing and textile donations are important to not only the people who benefit from the aid of charities, but to the environment. An increase in clothing donations could lead to a reduction of waste, a considerable lessening of billions of pounds of clothing that, unfortunately, end up in landfills around the country. From charities for wounded soldiers to the American Red Cross, there are many different charities willing to take used clothing donations, which can conveniently be dropped off at designated clothing drop off sites.