Around the world, the textiles industry is one of the largest there is, and this may not come as a surprise. Everyone needs clothing to wear every day, from casual articles of clothing and outfits to formal wear and military or work uniforms. Textiles include other fabrics as well such as table or bed linens. The United States in particular is the world’s largest consumer and producer of textiles alike, and the average American is buying twice as many clothes as they did just 20 years ago. The textiles industry is one of several that is capable of reclaiming and recycling its materials, along with the steel, plastic, glass, and others, but sometimes, clothes are simply thrown away instead. American consumers are encouraged to find local organizations that accept clothing donations in their area, and veterans clothing donations or military charities are common, too. These organizations that accept clothing donations are often open every day of the year, and such organizations that accept clothing donations may also offer tax rebates for donors. What is there to know about clothing donation efforts today?
Rates of Clothing Donations and Waste
Textiles can and often are recycled or reclaimed and donated to the needy, but the bad news is that the textile industry has one of the lowest rates of resource reclamation today. It has been calculated that around 85% of all textiles today end up as waste material, thrown away every day of the year and going to landfills. These discarded clothes are not doing anyone any good, and the average American discards around 70 pounds of waste every single year. This adds up in a hurry, and millions of tons of old clothes are lost this way. This leaves 15% that are reclaimed or recycled, and some old clothes are recycled and shredded to make industrial rags or furniture stuffing. This is not true waste like landfills are, but many would argue that it is better to send those unwanted clothes and linens to organizations that accept clothing donations.
The good news is that for all the clothes thrown away, many millions more are indeed donated properly to organizations that accept clothing donations across the United States. Overall, around 90% of Americans take part in charitable giving in some capacity or other, and boosting clothing donation rates may simply mean stoking this existing charitable spirit to new heights. On top of this, many clothes are sent around the world to needy communities abroad, and many millions of these garments are sent as far as Latin America, rural Africa, and impoverished Asian communities. The average American family or household probably has more clothing than it needs, so these people may use simple and effective methods to determine what they want to keep, and what they may donate.
How to Give Clothing Away
A simple process may be used so that even a household with an enormous wardrobe can carefully sort out what to keep and what to donate. To begin with, the household members may gather all clothing and articles that they own across the home, and gather them into a single large pile on the floor. It may be difficult to track the total amount of clothes scattered around the home, so this creates a single, comprehensive inventory. Shirts and pants, coats, dresses, shoes, gloves, and more may be added to this pile, and it may end up quite large.
With everything conveniently in one place, the members of that household may now start sorting through all the clothes and choose what they definitely want to keep in their wardrobe, and what they may give away instead. Clothes to be donated may be worn out, out of fashion, the wrong size, or simply redundant with other items in the wardrobe. Clothes to be donated may be placed into boxes or bags for convenient transport, and the leftover clothes will be put back away.
A person may seal those boxes or bags and take them to the nearest clothing donations site, and they may look up such a location (and driving directions there) if they need to. Once there, the donor may hand over the clothes to the volunteer staff there, and the donations process is complete.