Just got word that one thrift chain, with four stores, has to throw away 85% of the clothing contributions it receives.
Eighty-five percent. That’s 8 and a half out of every 10 items that are donated which are not saleable. That’s very distressing.
Why? Because receiving, processing, and disposing of clothing and accessories that cannot be marketed eats up a lot of the money that these charities make.
Now this chain, they aren’t overly picky. Nor are their customers. They sell stuff for a dollar… a lot of stuff. Belts for 25 cents, things like that. So what is wrong with the 85% that makes these goods unsaleable?
Boots with wear right through so toes would hang out. Rips that appear to have been made by denizens of Jurassic Park. Smells and soil and stains.
Not only are these things not pass-on-able, but they are sometimes dangerous. Every thrift shop staffer can tell you of the hidden razor blade, the corpse of something small and squishy, the stiff-with-sweat prom dress. What were these donors thinking? Endangering (or at least disgusting) workers, many of whom are volunteer and none of whom earn enough to deal with that. Not helping the nonprofit’s shop, but costing them trash fees, wasted energies and payroll expense.
So next time you’re deciding that “well, SOMEone can use it”, think twice. Is that actually true, or is what you’re shoving in that bag something which should, realistically, go in the trash?
If it’s not good enough for you to run it through the wash and smooth out the wrinkles
before you fold it neatly as a donation… it’s simply not saleable. You’re doing no one any favor by filling up the donation box with unsaleable clothing.
Graphic from yourdictionary.com