There are many reasons that people might want to give away used clothing to certain people who are in need of them. Donations, for one, are tax deductible when they go to the right organization that is a full-fledged 501(c)3. There is also the possibility of doing some alleged “good” in the world. There is also the possibility of clearing out closet space.
Likely, for many, it’s the possibility of doing all three of these things that motivates someone to take their used clothing and instead of putting them all in the trash, to donate them to an organization that benefits those in need, which can include the homeless population or the low income population.
There are statistics as well about how much is being thrown away versus donated each year. There is the possibility that some organizations, including the American Red Cross, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army are all pushing for more clothing donations in spite of receiving tons worth each year. Those statistics are in the following section.
- In 2007, an estimated $5.8 billion worth of clothing related donations were made to charity foundations in the United States.
- In 2011, an estimated 2 million tons of clothing and textiles were recycled or donated to charity in the United States.
- An estimated 80% of donated clothing in the United States is used by charitable organizations for donation to the needy, and for funding.
- Research shows that 12 million tons of clothing and textile waste is thrown out in the United States each year.
- The average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day, or about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.
- The EPA estimates that 75% of solid waste is recyclable, only about 30% is actually recycled.
- Americans recycle or donate only 15% of their used clothing, and the rest?about 10.5 million tons a year?goes into landfills, giving textiles one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material.
- The average American tosses 82 pounds of textile waste each year.
- According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the U.S. generates around 25 billion pounds of brand-new textiles per year (around 85% of that eventually heads for landfills). Goodwill, Salvation Army and other secondhand stores get the remaining 15%.
- 95.4% of Americans participate at some level of charitable giving.
These numbers show a complex array of statistics that elucidate the need for Americans to donate more of their used clothing, although nearly 100% of Americans contribute something to some nonprofit each and every year. But still more than 85% of new textiles eventually heads toward landfills, and that percentage could go to other at-risk populations.
There are many different kinds of organizations that deal with goods that are given to the homeless population and low income populations. The three perhaps most well known nonprofit organizations are the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and Goodwill, all of which have clothing drop off locations for those looking to donate clothes.
These organizations attempt to give or sell at a low cost clothing to individuals who are struggling financially and may be either without money, without a home, or both. There are even some individuals who have an income but their income is such a low amount that they need to buy clothes at a much reduced cost.
One of the groups that some of these organizations and even smaller organizations try to target or reach out to is the veterans population. There are many veterans that have seen active duty that suffer from illnesses that keep them from holding a job, finding housing, or other things. They are homeless and some organizations try to reach them.
There are organizations that function in terms of veterans clothing donations. These veterans clothing donations take in donations of clothing and distribute them to veterans, which can often mean going to a veterans house or finding them in whatever location they may be in. Veterans clothing donations are popular because of the veteran impact.
Veterans clothing donations go to help different kinds of veterans who may have had different kinds of services to America and the country that these people are donating from and to. There are other terms associated with this. They include veterans donations, clothes donation, clothes donations, charitable donation, and more.
Clothing donations generally do well to help others.