Are you trying to find ways to make a difference? You can start on a small, but crucial level, by helping give back in your community. And, it can be a simple as giving away clothes that you and your family no longer wear. Those clothes could end up in the landfill — or they could end up in the hands of someone who really needs them. Cultivating a thrifty and simple life is beneficial in this age of consumerism and the more you give back, often, the better you feel. Recycling clothes and other household textiles in this way also helps save the environment, by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, so you’re doing double the good work with one simple action. There are plenty of charitable organizations that take gently used clothing and other household goods — find one near you that matches with a cause you’re interested in supporting.
What are the Benefits of Charitable Donations?
Most charity organizations run on charitable donations, whether it’s monetary or actual items. They give back to the community with these donations, and clothing donations can often serve a twofold purpose. First, they can be distributed to those in need for free, giving individuals and families clothing they maybe couldn’t have afforded otherwise. Second, charitable organizations may resell the clothes at a lower price to help raise money for the programs they operate. Thrifting has become a great option for those who don’t make a lot of money, but still want to dress well, and it keeps clothes in circulation for longer.
Giving back can also make you feel happier as a person — knowing that you’ve done something good for someone else can also make you want to do it again. You may unconsciously enter a cycle of philanthropy and make it part of your everyday life. You also lead by example: those around you may be similarly inspired!
How Do Clothes Donations Help?
As mentioned before, gently used clothes can be re-purposed as secondhand clothing for those who can’t afford the retail store prices — or who enjoy a more eclectic, lower-priced selection. They help support a community — supplying cold weather clothing at reasonable prices (or for free), giving a child a quality back-to-school wardrobe, providing professional clothing for interviews and the work day, and so much more.
Indeed, the average American buys about 10 pounds of secondhand clothing every year in the United States and in 2007, almost $6 billion of clothing related donations were given to charity foundations. In 2011, this added up to around 2 million tons of clothes that were recycled or given to charity in the United States.
Recycling clothes back into society can also help keep the environment just a little cleaner. Around 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste were thrown into landfills every year. And sadly, this gives textiles one of the worst recycling rates in reusable materials, which is inexcusable, given that almost 100% of textiles could be used again in some fashion. It’s wasteful and bad for the environment to simply throw good re-wearable clothing out when someone else could take great joy and use out of the item.
Where Can I Give Back?
Look for places that take charitable donations in the form of clothing. Not only will your closet feel lighter — and give you a good excuse to go on another shopping spree — your heart will feel lighter after giving back. Plus, you’re helping reduce your footprint by deciding to responsibly recycle your clothing instead of throwing it away. Check out this site for more.