The textiles industry is one of the largest in the entire world, and everyone needs clothing to wear. This ranges from everyday, casual wear to formal clothing all the way to military and work uniforms. The United States, in particular, is both a large market for these clothes and a robust producer, and the average American is buying twice as many clothes as just 20 years ago. The same is true of housewares such as plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, and more, but sometimes, old clothes or cutlery are simply thrown away rather than donated. However, any family in the United States may choose to make houseware donations or send clothing donations to military families and families in need. Making houseware donations and sending old garments to organizations that accept clothing donations is an act of charity, and many Americans today choose to donate. Even so, clothing and houseware donations could always be higher, and families are urged to give away whatever they don’t need. Rates of clothing and housewares being thrown away may be lowered when houseware donations and more are made more consistently.
Clothing Reclamation and Waste
The textiles industry is one of several that works with a lot of recyclable and reusable materials, along with plastic, paper, and even steel. The bad news is that among all these industries with reusable materials, textiles has one of the lowest reclamation rates of all. Currently, in the United States, the textiles industry reclaims about 15% of its materials for recycling or donations, while the rest is simply thrown away and send to landfills. Old clothing, shoes, bed sheets, tablecloths, and more are discarded in this manner, and they won’t do anyone any good in a landfill. Millions of pounds of old clothes are lost this way, and the average American discards some 70 pounds of textiles every year. This can add up fast, especially given how often Americans are buying new clothes to replace their older ones in their wardrobe.
There is plenty of good news in all this, however. Clothing donations could always be boosted, but even as of now, many American show a highly charitable spirit, and some 70% of Americans take part in charitable giving to some capacity or other. Many clothes are indeed recycled and taken to donations pick up sites rather than discarded, and given to needy families across the nation. This often goes international as well, and millions of old garments are distributed across the world for the needy, from Latin America to rural Africa to southeast Asian communities in need. Increasing rates of clothing and houseware donations means simply stoking the existing American charitable spirit and pushing it to new extents to increase donation rates. What is more, nearly every community has its own charity pickup sites, such as for clothes or household wares, and they are nearly always open every day of the year and staffed with volunteers. When is it time to make a donation?
The average American household probably has more items and clothing than it needs, but any family can take action about this and decide what to donate. This includes both household goods like kitchen items, and clothing. Parents may look through their kitchen and determine what they are still using and what they don’t need anymore, and they may box up old cutlery, plats, bowls, and more for donations. Meanwhile, clothing is a major route for giving to the needy, and a household may work to gather all clothing that they own from across the home. All garments, shoes, and accessories can be gathered into a single, large pile on the floor to create a comprehensive and convenient inventory of what is owned.
Now, everyone may look through that pile and carefully determine which clothes and accessories that they want to keep, and which ones can be given away. Clothes to be donated may be worn out, out of fashion, redundant, or otherwise undesirable. These clothes can be packaged into boxes or bags, then taken to a nearby charity pickup site and given to the volunteers there to handle. A donor may look up a donations site online if they need to, and get its address and driving directions there and back.