Spring Cleaning: Clothing Donations
With Spring just around the corner, there is no better time than now for Spring cleaning!! De-cluttering your home of unwanted items, thoroughly cleaning room to room, wiping the dirt off every nook and cranny you can find – these are all a part of the exciting (and sometimes tedious) Spring cleaning routine. At the end of it all, you might end up with a box or two of clothes that you always see in your closet but never reach for, or have forgotten about so it’s now out of style. Keep reading for tips on where to donate or recycle them!
Donating your clothes to non-profit organizations will ensure you’re donating to a good cause and helping those in need.
San Diego Rescue Mission accepts clothing/shoes that are fairly new or gently used. They take into account the wishes of the donor and your requests on how the items you donate will be used. Most of their donations are given to students and guests at the San Diego Rescue Mission according to their needs.
Father Joe’s accepts clothing/shoes that are clean and gently used, and resells them at their thrift stores. The money collected from reselling the donations go directly towards helping the homeless population in San Diego.
Many mail-in programs exist for clothing/shoes donation, where most items are sent to developing countries for people who are poverty stricken and are in desperate need of clothes.
Soles4Souls is a free mail in program which aims to turn unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. Shoes are distributed to people in need and are also used to help people launce and sustain their own small businesses selling donated shoes and clothing.
The Bra Recyclers is a free mail in program that accepts bras, sports bras, mastectomy bras, nursing bras and new panties. The bras are then donated to women in developing countries, escaping domestic violence, human trafficking or battling breast cancer.
Retold Recycling is a mail in program that accepts damaged or very worn out clothes and textiles (blankets, towels, bed linen) to be recycled. Whether it’s just one sock or a full bag of clothing, Retold makes sure none of it ends up in the landfill. The items are sorted by type and quality, and are then sent to thrift stores, charities, upcyclers, recycling companies, and developing countries to support micro-economies.
USAgain accepts clothing/shoes that are in reusable condition. Items in fairly good condition are given to people who don’t have the option to buy new clothes, allowing them to conserve funds for other basic necessities such as food, shelter and education. Some are sold to small shop owners or second hand stores who are in need of products to make ends meet. Items that are battered such as fabric scraps are either reused as wiping rags or shredded to insulation material for appliances and vehicles.
Many clothing brands have a take back program in place where if you bring back a used item you could get a discount to purchase a new item.
Madewell has a Do-Well recycling program in place where they offer free repairs in stores for patching, mending and other fixes. Used jeans are also available for purchase at their stores. Once you have fallen out of love with your jeans you can turn them in at Madewell, which then turns old bootcuts into housing insulation for communities in need.
Pantagonia has a Worn Wear program where you are able to trade in or mail in used Pantagonia garments that are still in good condition in exchange for store credit. They also offer a used clothing section as well as repair services in order to expand the lifespan of clothing and keep them out the landfill.
North Face accepts used apparel and footwear in any condition and brand at their stores and rewards $10 towards your next purchase of $100 or more. Items are then sent to Soles4Souls to be repurposed to provide small entrepreneurs with business opportunities.
Levi’s has a denim recycling program where you are able to drop off any denim from any brand, and be rewarded with a 20% discount off a single item. The recycled denim will be used as materials for building insulation for schools, hospitals and libraries.
H&M accepts textiles of any brand and condition at their stores, which are then sorted into the categories of rewear, reuse and recycle.