I am T-minus five days away from moving into a new apartment, so I’ve spent the last month or so purging nearly a third of my belongings. This will be my sixth move in five years, and I am pretty much fed up with lugging around books I don’t read, clothes I don’t wear and furniture I rarely use.
So when I went through my closet a few weeks ago, I set aside the things I wasn’t wearing and the things that didn’t fit me and, perhaps the hardest pile, things I’ve kept over the past year thinking I could fit into them “if only.” And then I gave them to my younger cousin, so she could look through them and pick out whatever interested her before she donated the rest.
But there was one pair of jeans that had so many holes I ended up throwing them out. I’m talking holes in the knees, at the pockets, at the crotch. These jeans were worn out.
Well as it turns out, stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army can indeed use jeans with massive rips and shirts with giant holes. They don’t sell them for people to wear, they sell them to be repurposed into rags or recycled into new material. In an article from The Chicago Tribune, the Salvation Army says it doesn’t mind stained or ripped clothes:
The Salvation Army’s Maj. Mark Anderson stresses that he doesn’t mind when people donate ripped jeans, stained shirts and coats with broken zippers.
“We want to receive any and all articles because, if we can’t sell it in one of our stores, then we can sell it to what they call the ‘rag market,’” Anderson said. “They can repurpose those textiles for anything from wiping rags or materials for new textiles to even as an additive to asphalt. (That revenue) is a big deal for us.”
The same article, though, also cautions people to know where their donated clothes are going, warning that some boxes seen in grocery store parking lots or similar places are placed by commercial companies that may — or may not — donate some money to charity.
For further reading:
– Tips from the Salvation Army on calculating the value of donated goods, in case you’re itemizing for a tax deduction.
– A quick Google search for “thrift shops” in York County can help you find a place to donate.
– The Better Business Bureau explains which questions to ask when searching for a donation spot so you know where your donations are going.