Americans buy a lot of clothing. In 1930, the average American woman owned nine outfits. Today, that figure is 30 outfits, one for every day of the month. The average American tosses away 82 pounds of textile waste each year. Research shows that 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste is thrown out in the United States each year.
Americans buy a lot of clothing and throw away a lot of clothing. One statistic from the Council for Textile recycling shows just how much clothing is getting thrown away and how little of it is going to a cause and a community that needs a great deal of charitable donations.
According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the U.S. generates around 25 billion pounds of brand-new textiles per year (around 85% of that eventually heads for landfills). Goodwill, Salvation Army and other secondhand stores get the remaining 15%. That is a significant amount.
There are some other statistics about this issue.
- The average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day or about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
- The EPA estimates that 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, only about 30 percent is actually recycled.
- In 2012, Americans recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of material.
- If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
- We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.
Americans could use do a little more recycling. But when it comes to clothing, there is little more important than finding a way to use that clothing that is about to be recycled or thrown away and give it to a good cause. There are many instances of people who need clothing, especially during the winter months.
In 2007, an estimated $5.8 billion worth of clothing related donations were made to charity foundations in the United States. In 2011, an estimated 2 million tons of clothing and textiles were recycled or donated to charity in the United States. And there’s another statistic that is equally important to look at during the reading of this article.
An estimated 80% of donated clothing in the United States is used by charitable organizations for donation to the needy, and for funding. That is an important statistics, as it shows the impact people can have if they donate clothing to the needy. The donated clothing often goes directly to the homeless and low income communities.
When it comes to needing clothes, few populations need it more than the low income and homeless communities. The low income population may not have the discretionary income to buy clothes at places other than the low consignment stores.
Many nonprofits go on clothing drives to give clothing directly to the homeless during winter. These drives go to benefit those that are homeless and sometimes include gloves, like mittens, socks that are insulated, thermal underwear, sweaters, coats, jackets, hats, and more.
There are many terms associated with clothing drives, clothing donations, and nonprofits that help the homeless. They include donation pick up, donation pickup, clothes donation, clothes donations, charitable clothing donations, donations for non profit organizations, helping families in need, helping military families, and more.
Many people may choose to select a group to give back to or give their clothing donations to. One of these groups may involve military families, which can be called military donations. Donations that are military donations go to help those who are low income or homeless who have served in the military.
Military donations may include gloves, hats, scarves, thermal underwear, long johns, insulated socks and more. Military donations generally go to those who have been in the military or to families of those who have been in the military. Military donations may include food or clothes or any life sustaining needs.
Giving to nonprofits who give used clothes to populations in need may be an important step in American life. While most of the clothing that is discarded still ends up in landfills, it is possible to change that and contribute to a nonprofit that gives back to the people who are in need for clothes.