Help Your Local Community by Donating Your Old Clothes
By Beth Hoad
It’s that time of year again! The sun is out and it’s time for a closet cleanout.
Cleaning out your closet is a stressful job and deciphering where to take items is a daunting experience. You might ask yourself how and why should I choose a certain place to donate items over another? From in-hand donations, charitable thrift shops to take back programs, donating pre-loved clothing helps the environment, and hugely benefits local communities in need.
Your donation to in-hand nonprofits is directed towards people who are going through hard times. This donation is selective to particular groups of people, like Dress for Success, a nonprofit who asks for professional women’s attire, or New York Cares , who run an autumn coat drive for the homeless. If you’re donating to in-hand nonprofits avoid trendy items and try donating gently used items that the recipient can wear proudly.
Charitable thrift shops are great options if you have more eccentric items that you no longer need. The most common of these shops are Goodwill or The Salvation Army, but there are local shops too. Like Cure Thrift Shop, which is an eclectic and vibrant shop in NYC, who not only sell quirky and one-of-a-kind pieces, but also supports diabetes research and advocacy. This is where the resale of your donation goes to funding shops services and supporting different organizations like the homeless, arts or LGBTQ rights. It might not seem like much, but these small everyday actions can have a major impact on the local community around you.
Take Back Programs are the future. Easily donate items that have been piling up in your closet and have them recycled into new materials. You’re contributing to saving the planet, in the coolest way possible. For Days’ vision is to eliminate clothing waste by asking consumers to turn in used clothes, no matter the brand or condition in order to make new clothing. Ready for the best part, they pay you for this service, so could it get any better? Who knew throwing out clothes could be profitable, fun and sustainable.
The cycle of constantly having to clear our closets may prove that we have too much, but it’s inevitable. Fashion is a form of expression and since bodies change, trends come and go, and wear and tear just happens, it’s important to look into options when cleaning out your closet. However, in no way shape or form should you throw clothes away in bins or just out for trash. On average, consumers throw away 82 pounds of clothing a year, and all that does is sit in landfills and damage the environment. Do you really want to contribute to that?
There is no reason you should be throwing away clothes anymore, especially since brands will recycle it and nonprofits can use it. It may seem like a small job, but cleaning out your closet can be extremely impactful and resourceful, especially to communities going through tough times.
D.O.B believes we can change our future by challenging the way we think about our everyday habits, creating higher goals for sustainability, inclusion and our local communities and realizing the impact our actions can make.