Give Your Old Clothing New Life Through Charitable Donations

Clothing is one thing along with food, water and shelter that people can’t live without. But we have gone beyond just buying the necessities. The average American buys twice as much clothing as he or she did just 20 years ago. And it’s not like most people were buying just the necessary minimum amount of clothing 20 years ago. That means there is a lot of clothing out there that potentially will get thrown away. Many people don’t even think about donating clothing, while others believe that items have to be in nearly new condition to be recycled. That’s why Americans tend to recycle only about 15% of unwanted clothing, even though nearly 100% can be recycled. Here are some strategies that can help you recycle and donate more of your clothing.

You should go through your closets and drawers at least once a year and get rid of anything that you haven’t worn for several months. Anything that is in wearable condition can be donated. You should avoid donating items that are damaged or have big stains on them. You also don’t want to donate used undergarments. But, otherwise, just about anything else can be donated.

Donating clothing items is easy. There are a number of charities that take clothes donations, and they give you plenty of options. There are clothing drop off boxes placed in parking lots at stores, schools and other buildings. You can also drop off the clothes yourself at a designated charity clothing donation center. And some organizations will even come to your home to get clothes from you. If you want a receipt for tax purposes, the latter two options are probably your best bet. Locations that take clothing include Goodwill, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and veterans organizations. There also are companies that pick up clothes for various organizations. For example, GreenDrop takes Purple Heart donations for that organization, as well as donations for other organizations.

If you have clothing that is not suitable for Purple Heart donations or donation to another charity, you might be able to recycle it in another way. Old clothing can be used for household rags or bedding for pets. You might also search online to find someone who uses old clothing for quilting or another purpose.

The bottom line is that you should be throwing away very little of your old clothing. There are numerous opportunities to donate clothing, such as through Purple Heart donations, and you also can find uses for clothing that you are not able to donate. A little extra effort on your part can help keep most clothing out of the landfill.

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