Donating clothing has environmental benefits: Do something good for yourself, others, and the environment
Do you feel this? Modern fashion is a fickle beast. Her moods change all the time. New trends replace old ones in a matter of months. What do you do with all those perfectly fitting but tragically out-of-date or no longer suitable clothes? Donating clothes is a great way to bring smiles to people's faces and is also good for the environment. Here are some more details about why this is so important and how you can help.
The Fast Fashion Crisis
Boxes of clothes for donation in the global clothing industry have almost doubled in the past 15 years due to a growing middle class and greater purchasing power. A strong middle class is vital for a healthy economy; however, there are some problems. The fashion industry has taken advantage of the greater purchasing power and promoted fast fashion. The result is that consumers are forced to throw away their rarely worn clothes as they become out of fashion and continue buying new products. This is because the fashion industry has a reputation for being wasteful, which can have a negative impact on the environment. It is crucial that consumers let go of fast fashion and participate in creating a circular economy.
Clothing donations reduce landfills
If more people opt to recycle or donate their clothes, it could positively impact the environment. Textile waste is one of the biggest problems the world faces today. The average consumer now buys 60% less clothing than in 2000 but keeps them for half the time. Only a small proportion of clothing can be donated or recycled. Most textiles end up in the dump. The problem is that landfills not only ruin the aesthetic appeal of a neighbourhood but also contribute to our pollution levels. Textile decomposition and water toxins in the environment harm our environment. Higher levels of pollution are associated with larger landfills.
Donating clothing saves water
This is a double meaning. Primarily, if you donate clothes and another person reuses them, there is no need to produce so many new items because there wouldn't be anyone to buy them. The fashion industry now uses water to make new clothes. Consider cotton as an example. It is a very water-intensive material that is used in textile production. Second, clothing donations save water by protecting water from harmful chemicals. Consider the toxic chemicals and the large landfills released by textiles. Rainwater can wash out chemicals from landfills. They accumulate at the bottom of landfills and eventually find their way to groundwater. We also have clothing made from synthetic materials, such as nylon. The production of nylon produces many greenhouse gases. Additionally, nylon is broken down in a washing machine which causes a buildup of microplastics in water systems.
It helps us reduce our carbon footprint
Decomposing textiles releases the most dangerous chemicals, methane and carbon dioxide. These extremely potent greenhouse gases contribute to the global warming crisis. The production of new clothes can also cause problems. Global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to have been contributed to by the fashion industry at around 10%. This is significantly higher than that of the tourism and travel industries. Producing new clothes takes a lot more water and power. The greater the power required, the higher the greenhouse gas emissions. Suppose the fashion industry continues to operate in a "business as usual" fashion, and consumers continue to buy and discard new clothes quickly. In that case, the gas emissions will continue rising, and the environment will continue being polluted. Donating clothing will ensure that the energy and water used to create new garments are not wasted. Less clothing will be made and thrown away if it is still in use.
You can help those in need
Your used clothes can be donated to help many people. Donated clothes are usually sent to third-world countries where they can be sold at a lower price. This allows those living in poverty to purchase much-needed clothing and shoes. Your donations can also be sent to disaster-stricken regions. Donate clothing and other items you don't use anymore to help these people.
A Circular Economy helps us build a brighter future
Donating second-hand clothes will help you contribute to the circular economy, where items are made, used as long as possible and then recycled. We can create a circular economy that doesn't allow things to go to waste and maximises their potential. If you don't use your clothing, put it back in circulation. You can help the environment by donating clothing.