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Readers suggest donating textile items to homeless and animal shelters, Free The Girls, and ReTold

Dogs-In Shelter Ge787Fcf0C_640Recently, I wrote about where to donate clothes you no longer want to wear, including those that are worn out.

I listed the usual locations – Goodwill and the Salvation Army – and donating to retailers such as H&M. I also reported on what environmentalists have to say about the huge amount of clothing that ends up in landfills here and overseas.

Readers had additional suggestions on clothing donations:

Lisa Whitley, AFC, CRPC, financial coach offers the following ideas:

Thanks for sharing this. I am somewhat obsessed with recycling textiles (although I am not a big clothing shopper to be honest). A few more notes that I would add:

  • Homeless shelters typically struggle with getting enough donations of men’s clothing. This is especially important as you consider seasonal donations of warm sweaters and jackets.
  • Consider donating good condition used bras to Free The Girls, who help women who are victims of sex trafficking.
  • In developing countries, many households (and especially female-headed households) rely on the resale of used clothing for income. (And before anyone mentions it, it really doesn’t discourage local manufacture in a meaningful way because the supply chain for inputs doesn’t exist. Good quality used clothing competes with Chinese imports, and is often preferred.) I don’t shame baled used clothing.
  • There are companies such as ReTold that sell postage-paid bags that you can use to mail-in textiles (any kind – including underwear) for recycling. (I gave them as Xmas gifts!)
  • Don’t forget animal shelters for towels.

In addition, a friend left this comment on Facebook: Eileen Fisher will buy back their clothes at $5/garment. They refurbish them and resell them. They also use recycled textiles to make new clothes.

So, keep looking for ways to get your used clothing to a place that will utilize them effectively and figuring out whether you need to cut down the amount of clothing you buy.

Originally Published on

Rita Robison Consumer & Personal Finance Journalist

For more than two decades, Rita R. Robison has been a consumer and personal finance journalist making her living by finding the best bargains, calling out the crooks, and advocating for regular people just like you and me. In that time, Robison has talked to so many people who feel like their money just isn’t getting them what they want, where they want to be, or the life they thought it would.

The purpose of her blog is to help you get what you want from your money. Robison covers financial goals, budgets, debt reduction, saving, smart choices for buying goods and services, and retirement planning. You’ll also find articles on safety, such as avoiding scams, looking out for rip off companies, and getting informed on the latest recalls.

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