In the United States, we own more clothes than we ever have before. In fact, the average American owns around double the amount of clothing that we did just twenty years ago, and each person in the United States throws away around seventy pounds of textiles, including old clothing, every single year. This is a large amount of waste, and more than ten billion pounds of clothing end up in landfills every year.
Fortunately, charitable donations can help to combat some of this waste, though as of today less than 20% of people in the United States regularly donate their used clothing or textiles. But charitable donations to charity organizations have already made a considerable impact, with more than 2 billion pounds of fabric kept out of landfills in 2006 alone and every year, nearly five billion pounds of clothing are donated to charity organizations.
Though nearly 100% of all textiles can be donated, nearly half are worn again. Charity organizations often donate used clothing and household items to people in need, and many charity organizations work to serve a specific demographic of needy people. Take wounded veterans charities, for example. These charities work to serve and help wounded veterans, as well as their families, in their times of need, helping them to find housing, food, gainful employment, as well as clothing. The sales from clothing donated to charity organizations often also goes towards either keeping the organization running, or funds to directly help out the patrons of the charity organization. The value of charitable donations is immense, both monetarily as well as their impact on the communities that they help. Donating clothing to charity not only helps out the environment, but the people who live on this planet all around the world. In fact, many gently used textiles are sent to developing nations, where they are then sold for a tiny sliver of their original cost, helping the people in those countries to get on their feet and helping families in need.
If you’re wondering when to donate clothes, consider how often you wear your clothing. If you live in a two climate or less area, you should donate the clothing that you haven’t worn in six months or more. You should also donate clothing that is outdated or no longer fits properly and can’t be passed down to anyone else in your family. Basically, any clothing that is simply taking up closet or storage space should be donated to charity organizations.
There are many benefits to donating to charity organizations, from helping those that are in need to saving the environment. Even just decluttering your home is a benefit to donating clothes!