What Happens When Donating Clothing

Clothing donations

Did you know that an estimated 99% of all the clothing thrown away in the U.S. could have been recycled or donated? Many Americans are hopping on the train of thought that “less is more” these days and are giving up items, such as clothing, that they may not need. Yet many convince themselves that if they don’t want those clothes, no one else will either — so they end up in the trash. In fact, the average American throws away nearly 68 pounds of clothes every year.

But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? American society needs to be aware that other places in the world, and even other Americans suffering economic hardships, will happily take a charitable donation of used clothes. Donating clothing to charity does not take much effort. Simply head to your closet, pick out what you haven’t worn in over a year (make sure everything is clean!) and place it in a bag. Next, head to your local Goodwill, Red Cross, or local donation center and drop off your stuff.

Now, what happens next?

After one chooses to donate clothes and drops them off, the clothes will stay properly protected and sheltered from the elements until that specific charity comes to pick them up. Most charities will head to their used clothing pick up area at least once a week. They will then transport the charity donations to a warehouse where they will not be sorted, but instead properly packaged for another trip either across the country or overseas where eager families are awaiting a new shipment.

So, what’s in it for the donor?

For starters, donating clothing to charity is tax deductible. Anyone donating to a non-profit group will be able to write it off as a tax deduction as long as the donor is not being reimbursed for the charity they chose for other expenses.

Donating used clothing is also better for the environment. The less new clothing produced means less non-renewable natural resources are being used to make them. Clothing is a very misunderstood commodity in that the original purchaser of the clothing usually underestimates the life of the garment purchased. For example, jeans can usually be worn for up to 20 or even 30 years after buying new (depending, of course, on what the wearer does on a daily basis). As a result of a longer lifespan for clothing, Americans will purchase on average 10 pounds of used clothing each year.

One of the most important benefits of donating clothing to charity is to improve well-being. Helping others and being selfless is a very humbling experience. Those who have donated clothing or other items to those in need will often claim that it makes them feel more satisfied knowing they gave up part of their time to think about others.