Three Good Reasons to Donate Your Clothes to Charity


Clothing donation

There are a lot of charities that pick up clothing donations, and many places to make charitable donations of clothes, textiles, and household items. Meanwhile, a whole lot of people in the United States have clothes they aren’t wearing. Maybe it doesn’t fit, maybe you found something better, maybe your downsizing and trying to keep only the things that bring you joy. Donations of used clothing are helping families in need, and if you aren’t donating yet, here are three good reasons you need to start:

  1. You almost certainly have too many clothes already. If you’re like the average American, you could definitely stand to clear out your closet by finding some charities that pick up clothing donations. The average American woman in 1930 had nine outfits, but the average American woman today owns 30. That’s an outfit for every month, but a lot of us aren’t wearing a lot of those very regularly. We have tons of clothes and are buying more every year: 25 billion pounds of new textiles get manufacture in the United States every year. To make room for new clothes, you’re likely throwing your old clothes and other household textiles away. The average person in this country throws away 82 pounds of textiles a year: that’s 82 pounds that could be donated to charities that pick up clothing donations instead.
  2. We need more room in our landfills. Speaking of throwing clothes away, we need to stop that. We throw away, nationally, 12 million tons of household textiles every year. We only recycle or donate to charities that pick up clothing donations about 15% of our used clothes. Everything else goes into landfills, where it takes up space and even creates greenhouse gases over time. And there’s no reason for that to happen, as nearly 100% of household textiles are recyclable. Even if some of your clothes look like they can’t be worn again, they can still be cut up for industrial rags or shredded to make furniture stuffing and insulation.
  3. People want to buy your old clothes. The average American buys about 10 pounds of used clothes every year. In 2011, about two million tons of clothes and other household textiles were sent as charity donations; and there’s a market for a lot more. Some families are in desperate need and count on organizations that accept clothing donations for their everyday textiles needs. By taking your textiles to a charity or finding charities that pick up clothing donations from you, you not only clear out your closet; you also help to fill the closets of some of America’s neediest families. For some people, the thrift stores that charities run may be the only way they can afford to get clothes at all.

If you’re like most of us and have a lot of clothes clutter, consider reducing the chaos of your closet by donating those clothes to charities that will put them to good use. Keep that stuff out of our landfills and put it to good use.

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