In our modern society, searching through thrift shops and the clearance sections of clothing retailers is part of every bargain buyer’s wardrobe. It’s no surprise many of us love digging through the clearance section to find a good pair of jeans for a discounted price or a new dress for an upcoming outing.
Indeed, we all have a pile of clothes in the backs of our closets, collecting dust because we’ve labeled them as “no longer fashionable” or perhaps they don’t fit. But have you ever thought about the effects of clothing overproduction and how it promotes clothing waste? Thankfully, donating your unworn clothes can benefit a lot of people in need. Here is why donating clothes is a better form of recycling.
Fights Fast Fashion
One of the biggest factors that encourages clothing waste is the process of fast fashion production. Global clothing production has nearly doubled in the last 15 years, thanks partly to the middle class with extensive purchasing power. Unfortunately, this has brought about a few problems.
Fast fashion means that consumers constantly force themselves to discard their barely-worn garments since they only remain in style for short periods. They must buy new ones regularly to stay on top of trends. Fast fashion is notoriously wasteful and affects the environment, so don’t throw away your clothing goods. Instead, donate it to a local shelter or donation facility that will benefit from it. In the end, it will be less likely to end up in a landfill this way.
Decreases Contributions to Landfills
Many unused clothing articles become casually discarded if consumers don’t have access to donation facilities or charities. One of the more significant problems the world faces is the increase in textile waste. The problem with throwing fabrics away is that it increases pollution levels, as toxic emissions go into the air.
If more consumers made the wise decision to donate or recycle old garments instead of throwing them out, those clothing articles would have a better chance at a second life someplace else. Who knows—maybe someone needs a nice pair of pants that never fit the original owner quite correctly. Donating can benefit the environment by reducing pollution levels.
Reduces Water Waste
One of the best reasons why donating clothes is a better form of recycling is that it helps reduce the amount of water waste. Water waste is a common issue when it comes to the production of clothing. Materials like cotton are popular choices in textile production. But the processes of making them into clothes are highly water intensive. They also produce more pollution chemicals. Furthermore, the incredibly high use of nylon is also harmful. Making nylon clothing produces greenhouse gas emissions and causes microplastic buildup in our water systems.
When you decide to donate clothes so that someone else can reuse them, textile production significantly drops since fewer buyers are interested in purchasing new garments. Less clothing waste means diminished landfills and fewer chemicals that find their way into groundwater.
Reduces Greenhouse Gases
We can all do our part in reducing our carbon footprints as much as possible. This includes walking or biking instead of driving cars, recycling paper and glass items instead of throwing them in the trash, and donating clothing instead of tossing it away. Giving clothes helps in multiple ways. Also, repeated use of the same clothing articles makes us more likely to reduce our carbon footprints.
Decomposing textiles in landfills release chemicals like carbon dioxide and methane, which are very potent gasses that affect the global warming crisis. The fashion industry alone creates around 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, spiking water and power consumption with its production processes. Donating brings production down and affects the world positively.
Helps Provide for Others
Donating your unwanted clothing can help you contribute to those in need. It’s surprising how appreciative people can be when you give away your old t-shirts to those who haven’t had new clothes in a while.
Homelessness and Charities
Charitable organizations often run thrift stores to provide homeless or other disadvantaged people with clothing options. The foundations you donate to can’t offer their services if not for the contributions of people willing to donate. Well-known local organizations sell clothing items at deeply discounted prices and even host community projects to help others.
Agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) take cash donations to help disaster relief efforts while also receiving clothing donations. There are plenty of other reputable organizations with programs that help disaster victims directly. If you plan on donating to disaster aid efforts, be sure to contact programs to help.
Diseases and Illnesses
A surprising benefit of donating your clothing is that it can help organizations fight diseases. Some foundations accept clothing through their local chapters and use them for fundraising. By selling your donations, they can make profits that can significantly contribute to disease and illness research facilities. The contributions cover a multitude of fees, such as early screenings and education programs. So consider bringing in your old clothes to raise money for cancer and other life-altering illnesses.
Generate Donations to Charities
Organizations, like GreenDrop, accept used clothing donations and convert those donations into funds to contribute to national and local charity partners. So, your unwanted clothing can generate a monetary donation to help charities with their critical programing, without even opening your checkbook.
Keeps Your Space Organized
Sometimes, living with clutter and bulk can increase the risk of danger. It may create fire hazards or lead to suffocation. Not to mention that clutter can bring down your emotional health. Thankfully, not only are you helping others by donating, but you’re also helping yourself by cleaning your space. You become less likely to contract illnesses as well.
So, by keeping your closet and other spaces in order, you declutter your home and keep your area organized. Take some time out of your day to purge your closest and donate pieces that you haven’t touched in a long time. Just be sure not to throw away any of your favorite pieces that you still wear regularly. You never know when you may need them.
Cleaning your home, reducing waste and overproduction, helping others—it’s all part of doing your part to preserve our planet. Therefore, don’t be a stranger and bring in your unused goods. Someone might need them today. If you’d like to make a scheduled donation pickup, contact us at GreenDrop today. We use the donations to help foundations with their missions. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.