Could Buying Gently Used Clothing Solve America’s Landfill Problem? What Smart Shoppers Know
The United States boasts one of the highest percentages of charitable giving in the entire world, with donations totaling more than $350 billion every year. In addition to financial contributions, people donate almost 5 billion pounds of clothing every year, helping families save thousands on clothing purchases every year.
There are considerable tax incentives to charitable giving and used clothing donations, and Americans are advised to search for charitable organizations that are registered under section 501(c) as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. Finding charities that keep administrative and advertising costs low can ensure that a higher percentage of annual contributions are used in helping families in need.
Donating clothing to charity can also help individuals who are returning to the workforce in making a successful transition; finding high quality clothing that is work-appropriate and affordable can allow people to feel confident and prepared at their new jobs. And parents whose children rapidly outgrow clothing can purchase gently used clothing at a fraction of the price they would pay in retail stores.
In general, the best charities to donate to will inspect clothing donations for rips and stains before making them available for purchase. Clothing donation stores often have a wide range of pants, shirts, coats, and even shoes available for purchase, and feature name brand clothing that is in good repair. Making the decision to pay less for name brand clothing can also allow young professionals to invest in the purchase of vehicles or to afford continuing education classes for their professional development.
Donating clothing to charity is one of the best forms of recycling and contributes directly to water conservation efforts worldwide. Industrial chemicals are, unfortunately, used in the creation of new clothing and textiles, and the purchase of gently used clothing is directly linked to lowered rates of industrial pollution. Landfills around the world also struggle under the weight of abandoned clothing that could have been recycled, and donating clothing to charity is a great way to assist in large scale waste reduction efforts by environmental groups.
Perhaps the best part of buying recycled clothing is the variety of clothing available: people with good fashion sense and an eye for unique pieces can assemble wardrobes that allow them to stand out among their peers. Vintage clothing constructed from wool and high quality cotton can be expensive online, but taking the time to search for recycled clothing in excellent condition can be time well-spent. Parents should also remember that used clothing donation stores are an excellent place to find Halloween costumes and coats for children. Most cities have at least one clothing donation store: is it time to see what they have to offer?