Where to Donate Worn Out Clothes

by - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

where to donate worn out clothes on hangers

When I think about donating, the first thing that comes to mind is a big bag of clothes. Since we are trying to get rid of 2,017 items per household, I bet our closets are going to take the biggest cut (it's amazing just how much stuff is in there)! Cleaning out the closet can be at a great place to start-

Some of this clothes is still in good shape and could be sold to a consignment store or somewhere online like Thred Up.

Some will head right to Goodwill or Salvation Army or your donation spot of choice Think about putting socks, coats, and hats to good use by donating to a charity for the homeless. They always need warm clothes.

Some might be special to you, so it might be better to put it on Buy Nothing so you can meet the person it goes to.

But then there is that other stuff. The stuff that looks ROUGH. Old undershirts. Jeans that are ripped to shreds. Sweaters that are unraveling or have holes. Anything with stains. And then there's the unmentionables. What the heck do you do with that stuff?

DO NOT THROW IT AWAY. Please, I love you, friend. It may look like trash, but it isn't. The average American throws away 65 lbs of textiles a year. This is where that comes from. Don't add to the pile. Those things may look dead, but they have life left. Here's how:


Re-Use it Yourself


 Alright, I know this won't help that 2,017 number, but why buy rags when you have old t-shirts? I kid you not, we use old underwear and partnerless socks for cleaning, staining furniture, as paint rags. A piece of clothing still has life if you can clean the crap out of something with it.


Puppies! 


Animal shelters can use your worn out textiles, especially warmer things like sweaters and blankets, to use as pet bedding. Not every shelter accepts them, so call and ask first, but your nasty old clothes might be just what they need to keep their animals warm.


Donate it to Goodwill Anyway


Most will take it (not all, be sure to check). They also will take unusable clothing. First, it might get sold in bulk at one of their auctions. Otherwise, they will be donated to textile recyclers who can still make money off of them.   Goodwill keeps things out of landfills if they can. Just put the embarrassing stuff at the bottom of the bag; no one will know it was you.


Look for Textile Recycling Near You


American Textile Recycling Services has drop off locations. You can even use the Council for Textile Recycling to find drop off locations nearby. Textiles, like most other materials, can only be recycled a finite number of times, and it will be more brittle each time, but the reused textiles can still be used for carpets, car insulation, etc. The more life each piece of fabric gets, the better.

So even your junkiest, jankiest old clothes could still be of use to someone. And getting rid of that stuff can be one of the best ways to clear out clutter in your home. Do not throw it away!

The Great Donate 2017 is on! Can you donate, gift, or recycle 2,017 items out of your house this year? The average American household has 300,000 items in it- who needs that much? No one, but there are lots of people who could use what you have sitting collecting dust.

Check out the Great Donate main page for more suggestions on what to donate and where. You will save money (by knowing what you actually have), free up space, and save so much from going into a landfill.

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1 comments

  1. I have a question that may be a little trickier in a small town, but I can't believe there isn't a way! How does one get rid of makeup they don't use? I have so much that just doesn't match my skin tone or I've grown out of (green eyeshadow is making a comeback, right!?) but I don't know what the best thing to do with it is! I've heard of women shelters sometimes taking them... any other suggestions?

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