If you’ve recently undergone the task of taming your wardrobe, you probably have a number of old garments that you no longer need. For some people, it might sound easy to simply throw these items away, but wouldn’t it be better to give them a new home instead?
The answer is yes: in the United States, where more trash is produced than any other country, approximately 12 to 13 million tons of the solid waste in landfills consists of clothing and textiles. The worst part is that at least 95% of those items — if not more — could have easily been salvaged and donated to charity.
The good news, however, is that more people are managing to give their old clothing to charity organizations. At least 4.7 billion pounds of clothing are donated each year to people in need, but that 2.35 million tons is still nowhere near the amount of clothing getting thrown away. In order to reverse this trend, it is important to know what you can donate and where to donate these goods.
Are you considering cleaning out your closet and giving your gently used clothing donations to a local charity? Here are three different types of organizations that may need your help:
1. Charities focused on helping families in need: All across the United States, there are millions of families who struggle to get by. Every little bit of help counts, which is why clothing donations for men, women, and children can make everyday life a little bit easier. The donations that aren’t given directly to these families are typically sold in thrift stores (usually around 20% of the donations) in order to fund valuable programs for these families.
2. Charities for wounded soldiers: Charities for wounded soldiers and veterans do a great service to the brave men and women who have fought in the United States military. Many of these military men and women and their families often have trouble making ends meet. Clothing donations to charities for wounded soldiers help to ensure that these vets and their families have the right clothing for all occasions, and donations are often sold to help fund programs for these families, as well.
3. Charities that care about the environment: Today there are also green charities that help to recycle clothing donations that can’t be salvaged. These charities also focus on programs that help promote sustainability and other environmental issues. If you have clothing and textiles that don’t hold much value, look into recycling programs in your area, so you can help save the planet and prevent more trash from entering landfills.
Want to know more about the best charities to donate to? Leave a comment below for more advice on how you can help others and the planet.