It may not come as a surprise to hear that the textiles industry is one of the largest industries in the world today. After all, everyone needs clothing to wear, ranging from everyday clothes and formal attire to work and military uniforms. The United States in particular is one of the biggest markets and producers of clothing, and the average American buys and owns twice as many clothes as they did just 20 years ago. Americans have more clothes than ever, but the bad news is that sometimes, old clothes are simply discarded rather than given to used clothing donations sites. However, Americans do have a strong charitable spirit, and used clothing donations are given every year for helping families in need or helping disabled veterans. Household donations can be made at any time of year, and the average household probably has more clothes than it needs. Charity clothing donations can be made any time of year, and used clothing donations will be gratefully accepted. How often are clothes donated? How can even more be donated per year?
Rates of Donations VS Waste
A lot of clothes and other textiles are produced and consumed in the United States every year, and this industry is bigger than ever. However, a lot of old and unwanted clothes are simply thrown away rather than donated, and right now, the textiles industry has one of the lowest reclamation rates out of any industry with recyclable material. Recent statistics show that about 15% of all used clothes are donated, such as used clothing donations, and all of the rest are either recycled into furniture stuffing or sent to landfills. The average American throws away about 70 pounds of used textiles of all kinds per year, and these numbers add up fast. Millions of pounds of old, unwanted clothes end up going to American landfills every year, and this is partly responsible for landfill growth. Environmental protection advocates are concerned about landfill expansion, and mountains of old clothes are only spurring the problem on. These clothes in landfills aren’t doing any good for anyone.
The good news in all this is that a lot of clothes are indeed donated every year, and as a whole, Americans have a highly charitable spirit. The key may be tapping further into this charitable spirit to boost clothing donations still further. Every year, nearly 20 billion old garments and old clothes are handed over to clothing donation pickup sites across the United States. This figures out to dozens of clothing pieces per person and seven pairs of shoes, an impressive haul. Many charity sites and donation pickup drives are open 24 hours a day or every day of the week, making them convenient to visit and deposit donations. How can the average American family play a greater role in clothing donations and help reverse the trend of excess clothes being thrown away?
Sort Out the Clothes
Many American households probably have more clothes than the occupants wear, and a simple but effective process allows them to sort out what’s what. To start, everyone can gather all clothes and accessories from across the home and assemble them all into a single large pile on the floor, and this creates a convenient and comprehensive inventory. Shirts and pants, shoes, gloves, coats, dresses, and more may end up in this pile, and it may be even larger than the homeowner expected.
Now, everyone can start going through all of these clothes and decide what they really want to keep, what they enjoy wearing, and what can be donated instead. Clothes set aside for donations may be out of style or worn out, or they may be the wrong size or redundant in the wardrobe. Clothes to be donated can be collected into bags or boxes, and once the pile is finished, the boxes and bags can be sealed for transport. The homeowner can then drive these packaged clothes to nearby collection site and offer all these used clothing donations to the volunteers there. The donor might even receive a tax rebate form for the value of all the clothes donated, and this can be an attractive bonus for the donor. This could be done once a year if need be.