Donating to thrift stores can be a rewarding experience. The next time you get in the mood for cleaning, box up your used items and drop them off at a local thrift store. Your unwanted items can do a lot of things! It can help fund a dinner at a soup kitchen, tutor school children, and support other charitable institutions. Here are more reasons why you should donate to thrift stores.
The true impact that thrift stores can have on the community is often less discussed as much as it should be. There are several amazing things that thrift stores do. So, if you are stuck with bags of clothing and household items, here are 5 good reasons why you may want to consider putting them in a clothes donation box at a nearby thrift store.
1. Repurpose Old Clothing
Most thrift stores have partnerships and programs designed to recycle raggedy clothing items. For example, tattered clothing can be used as rags for insulation. Jeans are the perfect materials for wall insulation. Other items that are unsuitable for resale in retail shops can be used as cleaning clothes. No matter how worn or torn a piece of fabric is, thrift shops can find another use or purpose for it.
2. Reduces Pollution and Textile Waste
The clothing business is one of the world’s largest polluters. Evidence shows more than 10 million tons of clothing in the US are being tossed to the landfills yearly. Approximately 60% of the clothes made worldwide are made from synthetic materials, including plastic. When they are thrown away, they often sit in the landfills for years.
Textile manufacturing also requires a lot of energy, right from the transportation of raw materials to the production process and disposal of unwanted items.
Water consumption is also extremely high at every stage of clothing production. A single pair of jeans will require roughly 1,800 gallons of water to make. Manufacturing, packaging, and transportation processes add to this cost as well.
About 90% of the cotton grown for textiles are genetically modified. They are heavily reliant on pesticides. In fact, 20% of pesticides use worldwide are for cotton plants. These chemicals can contaminate nearby water supplies and cause soil acidification.
Textile manufacturing also involves the use of harmful dues, caustic soda, and crude oil by-products. These go directly into rivers or lakes. Lastly, the production of synthetic fibers releases nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
This worldwide dilemma will only continue to grow if we do not take appropriate actions. Start donating to thrift stores to keep items out of landfills. We should always aim to reuse and recycle old clothing to control and reduce pollution and waste.
3. Provides Employment in Third-World Countries
Depending on the recycling chain a thrift store follows, sometimes they sell items in bulk to developing countries. You would not believe the value of donated items! They allow local business owners to purchase clothing at very low prices to resell in their local marketplace.
Providing items to developing nations can help create jobs and help people earn a living wage. This also teaches people the importance of reinvesting their earnings to help grow their local economy.
4. Supports Non-Profit Organizations
Thrift stores almost always help nonprofit organizations. You can research to discover which group your chosen thrift store helps. These charitable institutions use the money they earn from the shops to fund certain programs, while “for-profit” shops pay groups for their donations. This will also help fund programs and activities. No matter what the model is, thrift stores always help the community.
5. Brings You Reward
Aside from helping the environment and the community, you will earn a lot more rewards by donating items to thrift stores. Most shops give in-store coupons for future purchases. You may also ask for a tax receipt so you can write-off your charitable donations. Some mall brands have also started a garment clothing program. They are offering 15% off coupons for donating a bag full of clothes.
Haven House operates several thrift stores in Florida and Tennessee. We are open daily for shopping and donation drop-offs. We can also schedule a pick-up service if it is more convenient for you.
Our proceeds fund alcohol and drug programs and initiatives for deserving men. You can donate household items, clothes, shoes, bags, sporting goods, books, and more! Support our store and the work that we do!