Have you ever donated clothing to charity? Chances are you gave clothing to charity thinking it would be helping families in need directly. The good news is that this is actually the use for much of the 14.3 million tons of clothing Americans donate each year. However, there are some other uses that donated clothing has for millions of people all over the world. Not only does it provide garments for those in need to wear, but it can even help save the planet.
Here are three things you may not have known about used clothing donations and how they help other people:
Donated clothing is often sold in thrift shops.
An estimated 20% of all clothing collected is to go to secondhand stores, where it is typically sold at very low prices. This not only makes it affordable for families in need, but the proceeds from these sales often benefit different charity organizations’ causes. Many of these organizations will accept clothing to either give to people in need or will sell it in their stores.
Clothing donations are sold internationally.
Sometimes clothing doesn’t stay in the U.S. but goes abroad to other people in need. While some of it is also given directly, other items are sold by weight and then made available in markets. This clothing helps people in developing countries, especially, and it has the added bonus of not contributing to waste in landfills here.
Used clothing donations can be recycled.
Did you know that clothing can actually be recycled? In addition to being reused to clothe people in need, textiles are also very easy to break down and reuse again. Many recycling groups and green charities are experimenting with technologies to repurpose used garments. Fabric is one of the simplest materials to recycle, so it makes sense that we can all save the planet by reducing textile waste and find new uses for old clothing!
Want to know more about how your used clothing donations help others? Get in touch with local charity organizations in your area, or leave a comment in the space provided below.