What Really Happens When You Donate Your Clothes

Contrary to popular (naive) belief, less than 20 percent of clothing donations sent to charities are actually resold at those charities. Generally, the other 80 percent is sent to textile recyclers who then determine the next cycle of the garment’s life.

Almost half of the donations will be exported and sold in developing countries, while the other half will be recycled into rags and household insulation. Charities receive far, far more unwanted clothing donation than they could ever possibly sell in their thrift stores, so they have relationships with other textile sorting and exporting companies who can find a place to sell those clothes and find another market for them to go