Charity Clothes Donations and Storage
There are hidden depths to the whole business of donating clothes to charity, as well as a lot of mistaken beliefs about what happens to them.
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), last year in the UK we bought 1,130,000 tonnes of clothes. However, a study by Barnardo’s in 2015 revealed that each item we own is only worn an average of 7 times before we get rid of it.
More recent research, this time by Sainsbury’s, has then found that three quarters of us are more likely to throw-away clothes that we no longer want rather than give them to charity or recycling. Sometimes this is because we are too lazy or have no time to visit the recycling point, but sometimes also, in the mistaken belief that they were too worn out or dirty to donate to charity.
It seems, also, that quite a lot of what is donated to charity is not actually sold in the High Street charity shops or donated to people in need but is in fact shipped overseas or sold on to textile merchants.
The merchants sort and grade them before selling them on – this is still providing useful revenue to the charity shops. Some of it also ends up on local market stalls in places like Africa and it has been argued that although they are then sold they are contributing to both employment and to the local economy.
Even clothes donated that are beyond having a wearable life can still be recycled by breaking them down to fibres that can then provide stuffing for pillows, padding for carpets, cloths for cleaning and as home insulation.
But in these days of ever smaller homes what do you do if you are collecting textiles either for a local charity jumble sale, or to eventually pass on to a charity?
Well, it may be worth talking to a local self storage company.
HomeStore offers a minimum storage period of just a week with no tie in. For a longer period of storage there may also be an offer of a reduced rate for storage and registered charities can also benefit from bespoke agreements.