Donate before you discard


One Monday I woke up ready to wear my favorite dress. The dress was black, soft, and had Pink Floyd symbols all over it. It had been roughly a year since I had bought it from the mall and it was officially too short. I was extremely disappointed and decided to go with a pair of jeans that were comfortable, nice, once again, way too short. It was clear to me that it was time to get rid of some of my clothes. I changed into another snazzy outfit, caught the bus, and began to wonder what I was going to do with my clothes that were either gathering dust in the back of my closet or simply just didn’t fit me anymore.

The answer was clear: I needed to donate my unwanted clothes.

After school I grabbed a bag and began filling it with my old attire. Two trash bags later I arrived at Goodwill, and handed over my clothes to someone I knew was going have the ability to give them to others. Surprisingly, I was more that satisfied to know that at least some of my clothing was going to end up in the hands of a person who probably needed it more than me.

Instead of letting clothes sit and wither away in the back of a closet, not being used at all, people should give them to someone who will be able to repurpose them. Not only does Goodwill help supply clothing to possibly less fortunate people, they also help people get back into a working job. This year alone, according to their website, Goodwill has helped a little over 184,200 people obtain a job with Goodwill across the nation.

Along with Goodwill, there are several other locations and organizations to donate to. American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Dress for Success, and Planet Aid are a few of the several companies that will put your clothing towards a good cause. All of these businesses provide low-income families, or people who are affected by negative times, a chance to afford and repurpose already used clothing.

If the simple thought of helping someone out by donating isn’t enough to encourage everyone to give clothes, then maybe knowing how the environment is affected by the cycle of clothing will.

Donating clothes to a thrift shop, or any other place, reduces landfill waste and the amount of production/use of the needed materials used while creating new clothing. This includes that amount of water that is needed to dye fabric, and the amount of pesticides used to grow cotton for new clothing.

According to SFGate, Americans discard 68 pounds of clothing each year, and 99 percent of that could be donated/recycled. That’s 68 pounds of clothes going to a land mill and hurting the environment, when instead, they could’ve been helping people in need.

So, next time someone is going through their clothes and realizes it’s time to get rid of some outfits, they should really think about the benefits of donating/recycling rather than discarding their clothes. The only one benefiting from clothing being thrown away is whomever has to clean that closet later. Donating helps the entire world by making the earth cleaner by keeping clothing out of land mills, and providing affordable attire to those who aren’t as fortunate as others.