John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
The reality of modern life is that we have many more clothes than previous generations. According to data published by the World Resources Institute, the average consumer purchased 60% more clothing in 2014 than they did in 2000, yet they kept each garment half as long.
This trend is partly driven by the young generation’s hunger for newness, while embracing sustainability. For example, a survey done in Britain found that one in three young women consider clothes “old” after wearing them once or twice. One in seven consider it a fashion faux-pas to be photographed in an outfit twice.
It is so easy now to buy cheap clothing online, or in bargain sales. So, this leads to impulse shopping. Not only is impulse shopping a huge waste of money; it’s also terrible for the environment. It requires an enormous amount of energy to produce clothing. Think about a simple cotton t-shirt: the cotton must be planted, fertilized, watered, and harvested by heavy, diesel-powered farm machines. It must then be cleaned and shipped to another location, often thousands of miles away. Finally, it’s spun into cloth, dyed, and formed by workers who work in appalling conditions and typically earn less than $2 per day.
What is the best way to give away clothes?
Firstly, start with your children’s clothes. Children easily become frustrated trying to put their clothes away into drawers that are already full of clothing they have outgrown. Young families would love to be given those clothes which are often in good condition.
With your own clothes, start by sorting your clothing into three piles: clothes you love and wear all the time, clothes you definitely don’t love and don’t wear, and the in-betweens. These might be expensive pieces you can’t bear to get rid of, clothes that don’t fit or that you’re not sure about, or gifts you can’t part with yet.
Leave the clothes you love in place. Bag up all the clothing you don’t wear and set it aside for donation. Take all the in-betweens to another closet and hang them up. Once you haven’t visited your “in-between” closet for several months, donate or sell those clothes.
Please remember to maintain the dignity of the person you are giving to. Old underwear or clothes with horrible stains under the armpits, or unwashed clothes is not the way to give with love. Wash the clothes and tear up the stained ones to be used for rags for cleaning.