Two Birds, One Old Dress The Environmental and Humanitarian Benefits of Clothing Donation
Are you out to do a simple good deed, make a charitable donation, or take part in helping families in need? Do you simply want to support good causes and make a difference by changing your lifestyle? Among the myriad of issues that beg attention in today’s world, it is often hard to choose what causes are easiest or most practical to lend your efforts to. Maybe you, like many an altruist out there, are becoming increasingly disillusioned by the seeming inconsistencies of battling the degradation and pollution of our natural world and the need to support and uplift poverty stricken individuals and families who have inadequate material resources.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
In fact, the growing interest in environmentalism and the ongoing issue of poverty could have surprisingly complimentary solutions. The reduction of and redistribution of waste could be extremely advantageous for both parties of do-gooders and their causes. The potential for repurposing resources that are perceived as “garbage” could be monumental! For instance, if the 21.5 million tons of food that is wasted every year were composted, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gasses as would taking two million cars off the road! Textile waste in the U.S. — annually about 12 million tons — can be similarly redirected to create hidden benefits rather than decay, by donating clothing to charity.
Here are a couple of reasons you should make clothing donations to benefit both people and the environment:
It Could Have Been Recycled or Reused
About 90% of the clothing waste in the country could have been recycled or reused. Instead of keeping someone warm, it’s rotting in a landfill. Instead of continuing to be stylish, retro, or just plain comfy, it’s polluting water and soil systems. Save the clothes, save the environment, save someone some much needed money — and make clothing donations.
It Is Used to Help the Needy
An estimated 80% of clothing donated in the US is used by charitable organizations to help underprivileged peoples. Many poor families, burdened by credit card debt, have trouble clothing their children, which can influence their ability to attend and their performance in school. The inability to buy proper clothing can inhibit someone from getting a job, housing or food. The availability of used clothing seems like a small thing, but can get a person off the street and on their feet.
It Creates Jobs
Not only are 17,000 people employed by the textile recycling industry across the country, but Americans on average purchase about 10 pounds of previously worn clothing a year. The used clothing industry is thriving, and helping many of the people who benefit from their low prices by providing a safe workplace.These businesses rely on clothing donations for both their merchandise and their funding.