Donating your clothes to a nonprofit is one way to support a worthy cause, declutter your wardrobe, and save the planet. According to statistics, about 11.3 million tons of clothing waste find their way to landfills each year, and sadly, the fabrics don’t degrade quickly.
Depending on the fabric, it could take weeks to years to break down. It gets worse. The process releases methane, a more potent greenhouse gas deadlier than carbon dioxide. Fortunately, you can donate your clothes to people who need them, supporting a worthy cause and helping to save the planet.
On that note, we have compiled a list of organizations that accept clothing donations. While some of these organizations recycle or resell these clothes to raise funds for other causes, others give the collected clothes directly to people who need them.
Besides these organizations that collect clothing donations, there are other charities that you might want to consider donating to, such as Food for Life Global (FFLG). Food for Life Global is the world’s largest food relief network that serves over 2 million vegan meals daily to hungry children across 60 countries. With over 210 affiliates and steady support from sponsors and donors, FFLG is committed to ending world hunger and needs your donation to achieve that.
Without further ado, the following list will come in handy when you want to donate clothes to charity.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is inarguably one of the most respected and oldest humanitarian organizations in the US. Besides providing emergency assistance to people in need, the American Red Cross offers disaster preparedness education and disaster relief to millions worldwide.
Through its strong network of partners, donors, and volunteers, the American Red Cross is always available in times of need.
This humanitarian organization is currently in partnership with GreenDrop, a nonprofit that takes donated clothes and resells them to thrift shops to generate money to support the American Red Cross.
As we mentioned earlier, GreenDrop is in partnership with the American Red Cross to raise funds through reselling donated clothes. The truth is, GreenDrop is in such partnerships with other notable organizations, including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation.
This nonprofit raises funds by collecting donated household items and clothes. Then, the donated items are sold with the proceeds used to support these charitable organizations to achieve their programs and missions of supporting the needy, blind, and America’s veterans.
In 2019, the proceeds from donated items were more than $3.7 million, approximately 40 percent of their net income. GreenDrop disbursed these funds to charities to support their local and nationwide programs.
To donate to GreenDrop, consider scheduling a home pick-up or find the nearest GreenDrop location. Then wait for an emailed tax receipt from your preferred charity.
A national nonprofit, Becca’s Closet donates mainly formal dresses to underserved high school girls who can’t afford them. The nonprofit was created in honor of Rebecca Kirtman, who, until the moment she passed away in August 2003 in an auto accident, single-handedly collected and distributed more than 250 prom dresses in the 2003 spring to underserved girls in South Florida to enable them to attend prom.
Although Becca’s Closet’s core mission is to collect and distribute formal dresses to disadvantaged high school girls, they’ve expanded to provide scholarship opportunities to deserving young people who demonstrate exemplary service in their communities.
To help keep Becca’s dream alive, you can donate dresses and money by contacting the nearest local chapter through their website.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation
The Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation (BBBSF) is one of the places that accept clothing donations. They collect used items, including clothes, sell them, and distribute their proceeds to mentoring programs. These proceeds help support more than 30,000 young people across Massachusetts.
According to Forbes, Big Brothers Big Sisters is highly rated for its accountability and efficiency in handling donations as one of the ten best nonprofits in America. Major investments from corporations and foundations have helped BBBSF connect to young people to enable them to unleash their full potential.
Learn more about donating to BBBSF by visiting their website here.
Although Career Gear focuses on providing business-related content for aspiring entrepreneurs to choose the right software and gear for their business, the nonprofit also accepts business-appropriate clothing for young people to wear to job interviews.
Career Gear also accepts men’s casual business wear. You can bring your donation to their office on one of their monthly drop-off dates.
Dress for Success
If you have more than enough professional clothes, consider donating some to Dress for Success. This charitable organization empowers low-income working women by providing them with work-appropriate attire.
Founded in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to almost 150 towns in 25 nations. It has also helped over 1.2 million women develop in their careers and secure jobs.
Before you donate clothes to a charity like Dress for Success, ensure it’s dry-cleaned or laundered and in excellent condition. They accept nearly new, ready-to-wear business casual and work-appropriate women’s clothing.
You can drop off your donation at the nearest affiliate location. Note that each location has particular drop-off times and days and hours of operation. Thus, it’s best to call in advance before donating.
Goodwill is a famous nonprofit that accepts clothes donations. Funded by a network of thrift stores in the US, Goodwill’s store revenue goes directly into helping people grow their careers and find employment by providing them with placement services, job training, and other community-based programs.
Any unsold item is sent to recycling organizations to avoid sending it to landfills. Goodwill accepts gently used, and new clothing, accessories, and shoes, and they also collect appliances, furniture, books, and other household items.
You can drop your donations at the nearest Goodwill donation center and store, which you can locate when you visit their site. Some Goodwill locations also provide pick-up options for large items difficult to transport.
One Warm Coat
Do you have too many jackets and want to share them with the less privileged to keep them warm during winter? Consider donating your spare coats to a nonprofit that provides free jackets to underserved people who need them: One Warm Coat.
Since 1992, the nonprofit has stayed true to its commitment to raising awareness of the need for warm coats. In that vein, the charitable organization has hosted over 38,000 coat drives and subsequently provided 6.6 million free coats since its inception.
One Warm Coat accepts gently worn and new children’s, men’s, and women’s coats without stains and holes. Simply put, they must be wearable and clean.
You can donate to One Warm Coat during active coat drives in the winter and fall months. Another way to donate is to go through their website and locate nonprofit partners near you. However, ensure you contact them beforehand to confirm drop-off hours.
While most charities only accept clothes in wearables and good condition, Planet Aid collects both the good and bad. Have you wondered, “where can I give my clothes away”? Planet Aid will receive them regardless of their state. They enable you to donate and recycle your unwanted clothing to ensure they save it from ending up in landfills.
This nonprofit sells and recycles donated clothes and sends them to developing countries. The proceeds from sales go towards fighting poverty in those areas.
Planet Aid accepts all forms of clothing no matter their state (with tears, stains, or holes). They only reject clothes if they’re moldy, wet, or dirty. Planet Aid also collects curtains, towels, bedding, and shoes.
If you want to donate to Planet Aid, simply put your unwanted items in a bag and drop them off at any of the 19,000 Planet Aid’s yellow drop-off bins in the country.
The Salvation Army
This international charity assists almost 23 million Americans yearly. The Salvation Army offers services, including supporting the LGBTQ+ community, the elderly, and veterans, conducting disaster relief, and operating homeless shelters.
Clothing donations help stock this nonprofit’s charity thrift stores network, and the proceeds fund the charity’s adult rehabilitation centers.
The Salvation Army accepts various clothing donations, including children’s, women’s, and men’s clothes and accessories. Other goods like household items, appliances, and furniture are welcome.
Do you have more shoes than you can afford to wear and want to donate some? Soles4Souls helps turn clothes and shoes into opportunities.
This nonprofit works by collecting donated clothing and footwear to distribute to needy people in the US and worldwide. Soles4Souls also fights poverty by helping the underserved start businesses selling those donated clothes and shoes they receive.
This nonprofit accepts all sizes and styles of gently worn and new clothes and shoes. You can make donations at the closest drop-off location, and don’t forget to reach out before proceeding with the drop-off.
Another option is to ship your donation with Zappos for Good freely. That way, you can use their prepaid shipping label with UPS. Remember to include the donor form in each box of shoes or bags of clothes you donate.
Vietnam Veterans of America
This nonprofit serves and promotes the needs of Vietnam war veterans through its outreach programs, education, and legislative initiatives by collecting donations of household items and clothes. The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) either gives these items directly to low-income and homeless veterans or resells them in the nonprofit’s resale store to get funds for their initiatives and programs.
VVA accepts various sizes and types of clothing, including shoes and accessories. They also receive household items, like appliances and furniture.
Suppose you’re looking for a way to donate to The VVA, schedule a pick-up, or find the nearest drop-off location. You can also key into Pick Up Please, a program by The VVA which picks up donations within 24 hours.
Buy Nothing Groups
Founded in 2013 to build a community of interconnected people through hyperlocal gifting and environmental impact reduction, the Buy Nothing Project provides a way for people to lend, share, and receive gifts.
Through their worldwide gift economy network, you can give your unwanted clothes to people who genuinely need them. Simply utilize the community and find a needy person close to you who will appreciate the clothes.
The Freecycle Network® has over 5,000 local towns with more than nine million members worldwide. It’s a nonprofit movement involving people getting and giving stuff for free in their cities while reducing environmental waste.
Freecycle Network offers free membership, and everything posted on the website should be appropriate for all ages, legal, and accessible. When you sign up on the website, join at least one local town group or create a Friends Circle with your friends.
Then you make posts about what you want to receive or give, such as items of clothing, and other members will respond to you and arrange a pick-up location and time.
Badly damaged items are recycled and reused, and you can send your items using the provided addresses on the website. Thus, if you’ve been looking for where to give old clothes, Freecycle.org can recycle and reuse them.
There you have it! Top nonprofits to consider when trying to donate clothes to charity. Whether they give the clothes directly to people that need them or resell them to support other worthy causes, the most important thing is you’re helping the underserved while protecting the planet from environmental degradation.
So next time you want to declutter your wardrobe, remember some charities will accept those piles of clothes, so you don’t have to send them to landfill. Simply check which of the charities mentioned above are near you and dispose of your clothes responsibly.
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If you aren’t comfortable with donating your clothes but still want to be part of a worthy cause, consider supporting a hunger relief organization like Food for Life Global. For over 25 years, Food for Life Global (FFLG) has served millions of vegan meals to millions of underserved people in 60 countries.
You can donate money or cryptocurrency to help them reach more people in need and end world hunger.