Every year, the average person in the United States throws away a large amount of clothing, household textiles, and other types of material. Recent figures show that this may amount to about 70 pounds per person. On an annual basis, this means that a staggering 10.5 million tons of material is deposited into American landfills.
Rather than throwing clothing and other materials away, nearly 100% can be donated instead. It’s important to note that the condition of these items usually doesn’t matter, either. Even though about 45% of the clothing that is donated is worn again, the remainder can be recycled and/or otherwise repurposed.
On an annual basis, 4.7 billion pounds of clothes are donated by Americans, many of which are then sold at charitable stores. Due to people purchasing used clothing in 2006, 2.5 billion pounds of fabric were prevented from being dumped in the country’s landfills.
It’s not surprising that Americans buy more clothing than they did 20 years ago. In many cases, individuals and families may actually purchase twice as many items. Currently, however, Americans are only recycling or donating 15% of what they own. Since just 15% of textiles are recycled, 5% become municipal waste.
When someone isn’t sure when to donate clothes, a good practice is to do so when items haven’t been worn in 6 months. This may apply even more in areas where seasonal clothing is needed such as heavy sweaters, coats, scarves, and boots. Since infants, small children, and teenagers grow out of their clothes relatively fast, these items could also be donated rather than placed in storage.
Donating clothing to charity makes a significant difference in the lives of others. When people in the United States donate clothing to wounded veterans charities, it assists these organizations with providing much-needed assistance to veterans and their families.
Since used clothing donations can be picked up, it’s easy and convenient to make a contribution. The next time you are donating clothing to charity, be sure to post this information to your favorite social media sites. As you’re probably aware, your friends will likely respond to your story and be inspired to take some type of action as well.