5 Reasons You Should Always Donate Your Clothes

Spring is finally here, which means it is time for spring cleaning! While most of us scramble to clean out our closets, I wanted to tell you to think twice before throwing out old clothes. In my mind, old clothes should NEVER be thrown away, no matter how worn out they may be. Instead of being trashcan happy, consider donating your old clothes. Pretty much every thrift store accepts old clothes no matter the condition.

Here are 5 reasons why you should donate old clothes instead of throwing them away:

1.  Thrift stores repurpose old (raggedy) clothing:
Many thrift stores have partnerships and programs designed to reuse and repurpose raggedy clothing items. For example, Savers Thrift Store’s website states, “we repurpose single socks and tattered clothing into rags for insulation.” Old socks and jeans are the perfect materials to use for wall insulation. Another example is Goodwill’s Good Wipes program where they repurpose items unsuitable for sale in the retail store into reusable cleaning clothes. No matter how worn and torn an item is, thrift stores can find another purpose for it.tattered clothing into rags for insulation. 
2. Donating old clothing reduces textile waste
The clothing industry is one of the world’s largest polluters. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing each year. As mentioned in a previous post, we should aim to rewear, reuse, and recycle old clothing to reduce waste. In 2014, North America alone threw away 10.5 million tons of clothing, although 95% of it was recyclable. This problem will only continue to grow, if we don’t change our actions. Start donating old clothing to keep them out of landfills.
3. You get something in return
You may be thinking “What’s in it for me?” Well, many thrift stores will provide you with an in-store coupon to use on a future purchase. You can also receive a tax receipt so you can write-off your charitable donations. H&M has even started a garment collecting program. Last time I checked, they were giving 15% off coupons for donating a bag of clothes.
4. Creates jobs in third-world countries
Depending on the recycling chain a thrift store follows, sometimes the last link involved selling items in bulk to developing countries. This allows local business owners to purchase clothing at affordable prices to sell in the local marketplace. According to Savers, “providing items to developing nations helps create jobs, helps people earn a living wage, and allows people to reinvest their earnings into their local economy.”
5. Donations help support nonprofit organizations
Thrift stores almost always help nonprofit organizations. Do your research to find out which nonprofit organization your thrift stores help. Non-profit thrift stores use the money earned to fund certain programs, while for-profit thrift stores pay organizations for their donations. This payment also helps fund programs. No matter what the model is, thrift stores are designed to help the community.

What are your reasons for throwing away or donating old items?
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