Donating clean, gently used clothing to charity is something many of us do annually, if not more regularly. Simply drop off a bag in a donation bin and you have not only cleared clutter from your own space, but also helped someone in need ... right?
In many cases, this is true—and there many local charities across North America doing great work collecting and distributing specific items required by those they serve in the area.
There are however many that have turned charitable donations into big business, often with quite negative outcomes.
Some recent media coverage highlights this issue. For example, did you know that much of your donated clothing to charities can end up in developing countries?
"Often, clothing is bundled together and sold by weight. It then gets shipped overseas to poorer countries and “dumped” there." - Leslie Young, Global News
This article by Leslie Young at Global News explains 'How to donate used clothing and items responsibly' (April 30, 2017).
Additionally, some East-African countries are introducing hefty tarrifs on charities that are flooding them with second-hand clothing. Read the article and watch the video to learn more. (Article by Megan McPhaden, CBC News, October 29, 2017)
When we decide to consign our gently used clothing instead of donating it, we are choosing a mindful approach to repurposing. Selecting articles from your closet for donation that are required in your area is a great thing. For the remaining items, consider consignment! It's ethical, it's great for the environment, and you get to make a little money, too!