Clothes, Part 2: Donating clothes is easy peasy

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Day 60 – So, at some point you will be faced with clothes that you can no longer use. However, they still have plenty of life left. When this happens you have many options. There are amazing organizations that will take those clothes and give them to those that need them most or use the profits from reselling them to help others.

Here is a short list of organizations you can feel good about donating to. They all have high ratings on Charity Navigator. There are many more out there. You just need to do a little research to make sure your selected charity is transparent and accountable.

  1. Illinois AMVETSAMVETS Department of Illinois is guided by a group of men and women who are dedicated to carrying out the AMVETS mission of improving the lives of our nation’s veterans and their communities they live in. The Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation is supported by donations collected from discarded household goods, bequests, corporate giving, and personal donations. These fundraising efforts are vital in AMVETS doing their best to support Veterans and their surrounding communities. You can schedule a pick-up of your clothing using Donation Town.
  2. Howard Brown Health CenterThe Brown Elephant stores will take your donation and all proceeds benefit LGBTQ health and fund care for the uninsured and under-insured at Howard Brown Health.
  3. Cradles to Crayons – Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities. You can drop off your donations at various location in the Chicagoland area.
  4. Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago – Serving the nearly 140,000 people living with epilepsy in the Chicagoland area, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago works to help individuals, and their families, in our community live their everyday lives. Through case management, education, and advocacy, we help you seize the narrative back from epilepsy and take control of your story. You can schedule for a pick-up.
  5. 2nd Chance Thrift Shop – A resale store that exists to help support the efforts of the Animal Care League. Their store is unique in that they have adoptable cats. Many customers love to visit the store solely to visit these wonderful kitties. Located in Oak Park, you can drop off donations at the store during store hours.

It’s nice to know that your old clothes can go on to help others. All they need is you, making sure they get where they need to go.

If you have other reputable charities that accept clothing donations, I would love to hear about them.

Tomorrow, dealing with the well lived clothes that are not fit for donation.

Clothes: Making wise choices

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Day 59 – According to EPA estimates, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothing every year. We are a society that has a love-hate relationship with clothes. We love them one minute and hate them the next. Disposing and purchasing, just to dispose and purchase more. Over the next three days, I’m going to cover how we can love our clothes longer and when the time comes to part with them, how we can make choices to keep them out of the landfill. Today, I’ll cover how making wise choices with our purchases can help prolong the life of our clothing. Tomorrow (Day 60), I’ll discuss the ease of donating unwanted clothes. On Day 61, I’ll cover what to do with clothes that have been well worn and unable to be donated.

Here are ways you can be more Earth friendly with your clothing:

  1. Avoid fast fashion. Fast fashion relates to clothes that are produced fast, purchased fast (without much thought), worn fast and discarded fast. Make sensible decisions and choose clothing that you can see wearing for years to come.
  2. Purchase clothing from companies with sustainable practices and a love for the planet. You just need to look for them. They are out there. Patagonia is one of the more popular clothing companies that puts the planet first. A simple internet search can put you on the right track to finding environmentally friendly clothing companies.
  3. Shop at thrift stores. Not every thrift store is created equal, but there are plenty out there that offer quality clothes for reasonable prices. Sometimes it just takes a visit to check them out. You can also shop thrift stores online. ThredUp is one of the more popular ones.
  4. Welcome hand-me-downs. My son benefits from the hand-me-downs from my three nephews. Suits, dress shoes, shorts and pants are clothing items I never have to purchase. Don’t shy away from the offer to take someone’s hand-me-downs. Not only does it prolong the life of those clothes. but it can save you a great deal of money.
  5. Mend when you can. This one can be tough, especially if you do not sew. However, there are people that do. You might know them and you might have to seek them out. Whatever the case, patching, hemming, or stitching can keep those clothes in the closet and out of the trash.

So, start loving your clothes and realize that they have a purpose and it’s not polluting our planet.

Tomorrow, donating closes is simple and helpful.