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Where do your donations go?

09.09.2021 | By Hope Titley

During lockdown, it seems that everyone turned to their wardrobes, unanimously deciding that now was the perfect time to have a big clear out. We know it feels good to start organising, and you may think that you will be doing charity shops a favour by donating your old clothes.

Whilst a small influx of clothes does help, the reality is that the rate at which we consume and then dispose of clothing is unmanageable. Thanks to the ever-growing presence of TikTok and Influencers, the trend cycle has become even smaller, so clothes that were trendy one week are finding themselves in the charity bin the next, many with the labels still attached.

So, where do your donations go?

Whilst some will end up in charity shops, ready to be sold and loved again, a recent Sunday Times article shows that won’t always be the case. We simply donate too many clothes for charity shops to handle, so they end up being sold on and exported by third parties. These clothes, many from high street brands such as ASOS, M&S and H&M, are sent overseas, and in this particular case, many find themselves resold in Ghana. The clothes will be sorted through and organised into what can be resold or reworked by local designers, with the most damaged and soiled garments headed to landfills.

This is a problem we can’t recycle our way out of, so what’s the solution?

Buy what you need

Thanks to social media and influencer marketing, we have been sucked into an endless cycle of micro-trends that go out of style as soon as you buy them. This has led to a massive increase in clothing donations, some still with the tags attached. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Next time you are about to buy a new garment, think of these three points

Do I already have something similar?
Can I style this in at least 3 outfits?
Would I still buy it if it was twice the price?

Donate Quality

Take a second to consider whether what you are about to donate is in good condition. Would you be happy buying the same item you are donating? By only donating quality items, you’ll be increasing their chance of being sold and finding a new home.

Sell

With sites like Depop, Vinted and eBay, it’s easier than ever to sell your secondhand clothes. This option is perfect for those looking to make a bit of extra money and create space in your wardrobe at the same time. Plus, you know that your dress will end up in the right closet by choosing to sell rather than donate.

Swap

Going green doesn’t have to mean going without, and at Bandi, that’s exactly what we are about. Instead of avoiding new clothes altogether, you can swap your way to a new wardrobe. This way, your highly loved clothes end up in the right places, and their life cycle continues.

Now, next time you are faced with a mountain of clothes you want to donate, you’ll be ready to ensure they find their forever homes and feel ever-so-good about yourself in the process.