By donating a shirt, you remove it from going straight to what is known as the “solid waste stream.” This is the universal dumping ground for items we don’t recycle. Our solid waste usually winds up in one of two places. It gets buried in a landfill, which can contaminate soil and groundwater, consume valuable land, and emit some horrific odors.
Alternatively, your old clothes are torched in a huge incinerator that gives off microscopic particles that we breathe, and spews out clouds of greenhouse gases that heat and clog the atmosphere.
“Reincarnating” Your Clothing onTriple Play
Neither option is good for us or our planet. By recycling, two good things happen. We eliminate the need to produce a new item, and we remove an item from going to the solid waste stream. Win # 1 is thus all about protecting the environment and reducing the wear and tear on Mother Earth.
Clothes = jobs = income
Planet Aid, like all other clothes collection charities, sells the used clothing it collects. That is simply how it’s done. Moreover, only a fraction, about 20 percent, of all donated clothing in the U.S. is actually sold in thrift stores. The rest is sold to wholesale recyclers. The recyclers either grade and sort the clothes first, or ship them “as is” overseas. Along the way, lower grade clothes are made into other materials at processing plants that employ thousands around the world. The best garments may wind up in high-end boutiques or vintage shops. Used clothing shipments are routed all over the globe, but mainly to lesser-developed countries.