In the world of fashion, being environmentally conscious is in. With companies like Warby Parker or Nice Laundry actively trying to make a difference, it is quite easy to find brands that align with some environmental or socially moral code. Other times, simply supporting a specific brand isn’t enough. What more can we do?
Sometimes we’re able to get money back for old and used clothes because they are in excellent condition and/or because of their designer labels. In these cases for the sake of our own budgets, it may be wise to sell our clothes, have them sold in a consignment shop, or send our high-end fashions to online resellers to get the most bang for our buck. But in some cases, the clothes we have collecting dust in our closet that simply won’t resell are better to donate.
Of course, there are the classic methods of donating—Goodwill and other types of local thrift stores happily accept our garments and other used goods and we can receive a tax write off for this. But a new trend is creeping up that might offer more overall good for the global community: upcycling.
A new charitable organization, Clothes for the Cause takes your used items (and in many cases even your very used items) and repurposes them into rags, fiber for home and shelter insulation, and more. In this way, all of our old garments do a great deal of good for people who need raw materials to make everyday items to keep warm and clean.
Each year in the US, billions upon billions of clothes are needlessly and thoughtlessly tossed like any other garbage into landfills and dumps. This is not only tragic because they aren’t being used for the hundreds of thousands of adults, children, and infants they could clothes, but also because of the space they take up in garbage heaps, which are growing exponentially and harming our environment. Upcycling clothes in this manner is much like recycling aluminum cans or plastic—it’s the right thing to do, helps our environment, and helps us reuse materials to keep the costs of certain items lower.
Perhaps the coolest part of what Clothes for the Cause offers is the chance for a new trend in charitable organizations. Clothing and other raw fabrics like sheets and bedding can be repurposed in numerous ways, including making “pillow case dresses” for little girls in Africa, quilts for children and families all over the planet, be used in animal shelters for bedding, and so much more.
And it isn’t just t-shirts and sweatpants that Clothes for the Cause will take off your hands—your old work ensembles, button-downs—even children’s plush toys, terrycloth rags and towels, handbags, and even draperies! The level of versatility means you as a consumer with clothes and other textile items in your home have the chance to give back in a way you had probably never heard of or considered while freeing up space in your home.
Clothes for the Cause makes it easy to contribute. Often coming to towns all across America for clothing and textile drives and fundraisers, as a member of your community you can bring your used items to a sponsored event. In addition, Clothes for the Cause has trucks that service neighborhoods all over the place that are happy to drop by your home or apartment to pick up bags of goodies. The icing on the cake? Clothes for the Cause ensures that any monies made as part of their fundraising efforts go to the Make-A-Wish foundation across the upper Northwestern US as well as churches, schools, and other groups that need financial help to stay afloat. The next time you think about dropping your old duds into the dumpster, think twice and contact Clothes for the Cause instead.