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Clothing Bin Wars – the problem with having clothing bins everywhere

The US government has stated that almost 85% of sold textiles are dumped into landfills every year. The rest of the 15% is donated.


If you haven’t already noticed, there are clothing bins on every other street and although we would like to believe that all donated clothes are going to the hands of the needy, it’s just not true.


Reliable organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army are facing intense competition from retailers like H&M and from other for-profit organizations that have questionable operations. The problem is that people don’t distinguish between clothing bins, they just put their clothes in whatever is closest to them.


Who’s collecting my clothes and where do they do?

This is the question people need to keep in mind when putting clothes into a clothing bin. Sometimes clothing bins are branded with the name of the organization, other times they are not. It’s best to put clothes into bins with familiar names. People need to be more conscious about who they are donating to because there are plenty of companies out there that are taking advantage of the fact that people tend to donate without caring for where their clothes are going.


Who do donated clothes benefit?

People presume that donated goods are directly transported to those who need it without having knowledge of how the business really works. Donated clothes are bought and sold a few times before they reach the end user. Each time they are bought, they are sold at a markup. Donors need to be aware of the fact that a price is likely to be put on their clothes they gave away for free.


The end user (usually someone from the developing world) purchases the product from a second-hand goods market.


The importance of donating responsibly

When clothes are not donated responsibly they can end up closing local businesses in developing countries. Many countries in Africa used to have thriving textile businesses which have been forced to clothes due to the increase of imported second-hand clothing. Other times, clothes are shipped to developing countries without any concern for supply-demand and end up in landfills.


Whitehouse & Shapiro has established itself as a reputable player in the second-hand clothing trading market. We purchase thrift store excess and credential clothing from around Baltimore and other parts of the country. Our goods then undergo grading and are sold to reliable partners in foreign markets such as Pakistan, Chile, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa and Japan.


Contact us to see how you can work with us to prevent donated clothes from clogging landfills.

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