In the United States, no matter where you go in it, the amount of clothing consumption is high. In fact, the rate at which we consume clothes has increased dramatically and is truly a modern phenomenon. Less than one hundred years ago, the typical woman had only around nine outfits (around the time period of the 1920’s and into the 1930’s). Today, however, the typical woman living in the United States will have as many as thirty outfits, meaning that most women wear a brand new outfit every single day of every single month. While this seems incredibly normal for us, it marks a dramatic shift in how we view and consume clothing.
Unfortunately, this dramatic increase in the consumption of clothing and textile materials often also results in a considerable amount of waste products. Per person in the United States, there is on average more than eighty pounds of textile waste in just one year. Added all up, this number is nearly insurmountable and unthinkable. Much of these textiles find themselves in landfills, creating a negative impact on the environment.
There are steps that even the average person can take that can make a huge impact, however. For example, charitable giving in the form of used clothing donations has become ever the more popular among those in the United States. In 2007 alone, for instance, nearly six billion dollars worth of used clothing donations were made to various charitable organizations around the country. In the just over ten years since then, this number has only increased. By 2011, nearly two million tons of used clothing were donated by the end of the calendar year, used for various purposes by charitable organizations.
When deciding where to donate your used and old clothes, it is important that you pick a cause that you are in support of. Veterans charities are one such cause. Veterans charities focus on the well being of former military personnel, as veterans often struggle with integrating back into society once they leave the armed forces. Veterans charities will also often provide support to the families of the struggling veterans who are also often struggling alongside them. As nearly eighty percent of all used clothing donations are used for the purpose of helping needy families, veterans charities benefit very much so from the donation of used clothing.
But even if your old and used clothing is no longer in wearable condition or is in any way run down or damaged, it is still better to donate it than to simply and throw it away, which effectively sends it to a landfill. Donating your out of shape clothing items will often see them used for more practical purposes. They are often, for instance, cut up and used and industrial rags. Other used clothes may find a second life as the stuffing for various items of furniture such as couches or chairs. Some is even used for insulation in homes and other such structures.
When it comes to charitable donations, there is a huge benefit to giving charitably. Not only do you now have the sense of doing good in the world, you actively protect our planet as well as give back to your own community. Charity in the form of charitable clothing donations can also benefit your personally, as it allows you to declutter some of your personal space in your home.
If you are struggling to decide what to donate, look through your closet and determine which articles of clothing you wear regularly. If you find pieces of clothing that have not been worn in more than six months (if you live in a two season climate) or slightly longer (if you live in a four season climate), it is time to get rid of them. So should you also get rid of any clothing that no longer fits properly, even if you are planning on losing weight or vice versa in the near future.
From giving to veterans charities (as veterans charities fill a huge need in many communities) to saving our environment article of clothing by article of clothing, there are many reasons to donate your used clothes.