Three Things to Do With Your Old Clothes

If you have extra clothing that you don’t need or that is no longer useful to you, you may be wondering about donating clothing to charity. There are plenty of organizations that accept clothing donations, and here are some things your clothing donations could be doing.

  • Organizations that help military families Our nation’s military families have chosen a life of difficulty and sacrifice, and it’s up to us to do what we can to make things better for them. One thing you can do to help military families is to make a charitable donation to military charities or other organizations that help military families. This doesn’t have to be a monetary donation. Donations of clothing are very useful, too.
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 207,000 of our most recent veterans weren’t able to find any work as of early 2013, and the veteran unemployment rate is 2% higher than the national average for the rest of the population. For some military families, your donated clothes could make all the difference.
  • Organizations that help the poor and homeless Every year, the average person in the United States buys 10 pounds of used clothing. When you donate your used clothes to some organizations, they then turn around and sell those items to raise funds for operations. The used clothes themselves are sold at discounted prices, enabling the poorest among us to get quality textiles at a low cost. The income derived from the sale of the clothes goes to support the charities, who in turn support the homeless and victims of disasters by providing clothing, shelter, food, blood, and other necessities.
  • Organizations that recycle used clothes While they may also be helping military families and the poor, some organizations also have a focus on taking care of the environment. Every year, about 12 million tons of American clothing is thrown away. In fact, the recovery rate for used household textiles was only just over 15% in 2011, and the average American tosses out an enormous 82 pounds of textile waste every year. Not only is this a waste of materials that could be used to help others; it’s also damaging to the environment.
    The Council for Textile Recycling estimates that the USA is generating around 25 billion pounds of new materials a year, nearly all of which will end up in a landfill and break down, creating greenhouse gases as it does. Only half of the used clothing that is donated in America gets worn again. About 30% is made into industrial rags, and 20% is shredded and used to stuff couches or as home installation. These are great ways to use old clothes that ensures they have a second life and don’t go to filling up our landfills and polluting our environment.

We all have clothes we don’t need, and most of us could use some extra room around the house. If you’re wondering what to do with your old clothes, don’t throw them away. Donate clothing to help military families, to help the poor and homeless, and to spare our environment.

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