Donating clothes is a useful (more closet space is always welcome!) and sustainable practice. Making sure your clothes are repurposed not only reduces the amount of textile waste in landfills, but also decreases the use of resources needed to manufacture clothing: water, energy, chemicals, and fabrics. Not only that, but charities can help communities in need.
The Do's: How To Sort Through Your Clothes
- Is anything collecting dust in your closet or at the bottom of your drawer? Consider donating clothes you simply don’t wear anymore.
- Too small or tight? It’s time to pass it down to someone else.
- No longer going through “that phase”? Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit your style.
- Don’t be afraid to include high-end items like a suit or formal dress. Many donation centers will take those items aside for special programs and charities that help people in need look sharp for a job interview or events like prom.
Clothing Donation Don'ts
- No undergarments. No, if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Undies are items that need to be bought new, no matter how cute your old ones are.
- Does your old favorite shirt have a hole in it? Then it’s time to repurpose, recycle, or throw it away. Only consider donating items that are like-new or gently worn.
- Do your shorts still have a weird smell? That’s a no for us dawg.
- If any of your clothes have spots or stains on them, try to remove them yourself or take them to a professional. If the stain won’t budge, then sadly the item should not be donated and instead repurposed.
Make Sure All Items Have Been Recently Washed/Dry Cleaned
Where To Donate Clothes
This one may seem pretty obvious but without a plan, chances are your bag of donations may end up sitting in the garage or closet for another six months. To make things simple, here are two options to get those items out the door!
- Option 1 - Rinse will pick up your clothing donations, free of charge with any Rinse order. You can check if you’re in our service area here.
- Option 2 - Drop your clothes off at a local charity. Here are some national and local organizations that accept clothing donations:
- American Red Cross
- Becca's Closet
- Big Brother Big Sister Foundation
- Your local place of worship
Clothing Donation Alternatives
If your clothes are too far past their prime to be donated, don’t despair, you can also repurpose or recycle them and minimize your environmental footprint.
Repurpose old clothes:
Some old clothes can become dust rags used for cleaning while other types of clothes like shirts can easily be turned into dog toys. (Here is a great how-to video for cutting up old shirts and braiding them into chew toys — It’s a fun project for kids and if you create too many, local animal shelters often welcome toys of any kind to keep their pups entertained.)
Recycle clothes, towels, and bed sheets that aren't fit for donation:
If you can’t find any way to use your old clothes around the house you can always reach out to local nonprofits about helping you with textile recycling. Oftentimes, they may be able to facilitate taking your old clothes to textile recyclers. If you need a jumpstart looking into recycling options check out Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (“SMART”).