CPeeking into your closet feels like a big accomplishment, because it is. After all, it takes a lot of effort and mental energy to go through your stuff. But after all that, you are left with one important question: “Where should I donate my clothes?”
Sure, throwing them away is an easy way to do it, but it’s not exactly the most respectable (read: environmentally conscious) thing to do: More than 11 million tons of textiles (most of which were discarded clothing) ended up in landfills. in 2018, while only 2.5 million tons were recycled, according to the EPA. That’s why choosing clothing donations instead is so important. Your old things can take on new life with someone else who will love them again, and you can even help someone in need earn an income.
But back to question number one: Where to donate your clothes. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular options, along with expert advice on exactly what you should and shouldn’t donate.
Why is it a good idea to donate clothes, again?
How much time do you have? There are actually a lot of reasons donating clothes is so important, says Tony Peressini, CEO of clothing donation company GreenDrop. For starters, it’s environmentally friendly. “2,700 liters of water are needed to make a cotton shirt,” says Peressini. “For perspective, that’s enough water for one person to drink for 2.5 years.” Donating your clothes also helps make room in landfills for other items.
And finding new homes for things you no longer use also helps people in need who can’t afford clothes, says Peressini. Although on a personal level, donating your clothes helps reduce clutter in your home.
What are considered good clothing donations?
In general, anything someone can reuse is worth donating. “Gently used items such as clothing, shoes, blankets and bedding will be accepted,” says Peressini. But there is at least one organization that will accept things that are also falling apart. (More on that later.)
What clothes should you not donate?
The main purpose of donating your clothes is really to pass things that can be used by someone else. “Overused items that are too damaged to reuse should not be donated,” says Peressini. So if you have clothes with holes or falling apart, it’s best to use them as a rag or send them to an organization that specifically accepts these donations.
Where to donate your clothes
There are many options, and the best clothing donation site for you may simply be the one closest to your home. These are some of the most common places to donate your clothes.
There are locations virtually everywhere, and funds from the nonprofit’s thrift stores help people in need find jobs through job training and placement services. Simply drop off your clothes at a donation center near you.
2. Salvation Army
The international charity provides a wide range of services, from operating homeless shelters to organizing food pantries, supporting drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and helping victims of domestic abuse. Clothing donations go to the organization’s thrift stores, which benefit the nonprofit’s adult rehabilitation centers. You can make a donation at a drop-off center or schedule a pickup.
3. green drop
GreenDrop works with charitable programs in the Mid-Atlantic region to bring donated items to them. The company helps the American Red Cross, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia. When you want to donate your clothes, you can drop them off at a GreenDrop location (find one near you here) or you can call 888-944-3767 to schedule a pickup at your home.
4. American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides emergency assistance and disaster relief to people in the US and around the world. You can donate your clothing to the nonprofit humanitarian organization by searching for a clothing donation bin near you. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic region, you can also contact GreenDrop to donate your clothing to the Red Cross.
5. Free the girls
Do you have old bras that you no longer want or need? You can give them to the organization, which sends donated bras to women who have survived human trafficking. The women can then sell the bras at second-hand markets in their communities around the world and earn money to support themselves. To donate, fill out an online bra donation form on the nonprofit’s website and drop off your bras at a location near you.
Soles4Soles specializes in shoe donations but also accepts clothing. The company collects your gently used items and then ships them to people in need both in the US and around the world. It even helps some people start businesses to sell the donated goods they receive. Fill out a donor form and find a drop-off location in your area to make a donation.
7. Dress for success
This nonprofit is specifically geared toward connecting low-income women with professional work wear, making it perfect for those suits you no longer wear. It operates in almost 150 cities and has helped more than 1.2 million women. The group accepts ready-to-wear and work-appropriate clothing for women only. Also, please note: all donations must be clean and in good condition. You can drop off donations at an affiliated location near you.
8. Help the planet
While most nonprofits prefer clothing that’s in good condition, Planet Aid accepts just about anything, even items that have holes, stains, or tears. However, what they do not accept is dirty or moldy clothes. The organization then takes these clothes and sells or reuses them in developing countries. The profits made from the sales are used to fight poverty in those areas. To donate your clothing, find a drop off location near you.
Oh hello! She sounds like someone who loves free workouts, discounts on cult wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+our online community of wellness experts, and unlock your rewards instantly.