Thursday, December 29, 2016

Things to think about before you donate.

This post only scratches the surface.

Stigmas against shopping at thrift stores are long gone, and now it is a popular option to donate your clothes.

I'm tired of the myth that you can and should donate anything to the thrift store.

I worked at a thrift store pricing clothing for several months, and went through tons and tons of what essentially amounted to trash.

There are people who want to save money and there are people who shop there out of need. There's one thing about all these people that must be honored: dignity.

People's styles and tastes are different, but if you're donating old clothing because, well it's old and in horrible condition, why? Why do we believe the underserved would be grateful for our trash?

Only donate clothes in good condition:
No rips, tears, stains, or pilling
In season is best.
Launder first.
Take things off the hangers. They can probably sell wire hangers for scrap metal. Maybe they can sell plastic hangers, but please, just take your clothes off them.
And please. No old underwear (WHY? Just WHY?). Someone has to go through it, even if they're putting on gloves and putting them in the salvage/trash.

If you're local thrift store recycles textiles, perhaps you will donate them to recycle, but maybe mark them as "salvage."

These and your ephemeral high school t-shirts get sent to Africa. They are putting local African textile industries out of business. As for the other countries receiving these, the market is saturated. They don't need anymore of our old clothes!

I say, turn your old t-shirts into rags. For me, I get more use out of them cleaning than I did wearing them, and I still feel happy to see the logos, even while I'm wiping down a counter. It also makes it easier to toss once you've worn down your rag to threadbare.

Now, when I buy, I am "investing" in a product that will last much longer than something bought at a big box store. "Use it up and wear it out. Make it do or do without."

I am also concerned about filling landfills. Biodegradable waste isn't so bad until it's all put together, releasing harmful gasses cumulatively as it all breaks down. But one step at a time.

The solution to the landfill problem is to simply buy less and buy better.

TL;DR:
Support everyone's dignity, by not donating your trash.
Repurpose as much as possible to try not to fill the landfills.
Buy less, but buy better.

I am, by no means, eco-conscious superstar, but I am trying. :-D

Live Lovely.

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