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Silly question about donating clothes


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Do you weed out clothes before you donate?

 

I sorted my dd's clothes out and have 2 huge lawn bags to donate. There are some really nice things that they have outgrown that I wouldn't have hesitated to have them wear again.

 

BUT, there are also...

 

--cutoff shorts

--very scuffed leather tennis shoes that still have good tread and are, structurally, in very good shape

 

Do I just bag it all and let them sort it out at the donation site? It's a community outreach center (they give away and not sell) and it does say "gently" used. But, for example, the cutoff shorts are in great shape and aren't stained. But are they gently used?

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As a frequent donator and frequent purchaser of used clothing my criteria for donating is "would I buy this". If there are a lot of stains or doesn't look nice I toss the item. If I'm donating I'm not looking to off load what I consider trash as there is plenty of good used clothing/shoes available (yardsales, thrift shops, consignment shops, freecycle, etc.) for free to low-cost. Also, if I have to think about it (i.e. the item is questionable) in the trash it goes.

 

so to answer your question I would probably donate the shorts but I'm not sure about the shoes without looking at them.

Edited by Mandamom
needed to answer the question
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Are the cutoff shorts hemmed? If they are hemmed, and in ready-to-wear condition, I'd go ahead and donate them. :)

 

Generally, I'd donate what still has some good use to it, but that no one would ever feel ashamed of having been given. A good friend of mine grew up on clothes given by such organizations, and detested wearing worn-out clothes. He still cannot bear thrift shops. :tongue_smilie: If anything looks more fit for yard work than everyday clothes, make rags out of it or toss it.

 

Giving away clothes is awesome, isn't it? What a great service! :)

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I would not donate clothes that are stained and torn, but cut off shorts are VERY wearable and the gymshoes sound like they have life left in them too. I'm amazed at the stuff I see at the thrift stores. I always remove the 'garbage'.

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Do you weed out clothes before you donate?

 

I sorted my dd's clothes out and have 2 huge lawn bags to donate. There are some really nice things that they have outgrown that I wouldn't have hesitated to have them wear again.

 

BUT, there are also...

 

--cutoff shorts

--very scuffed leather tennis shoes that still have good tread and are, structurally, in very good shape

 

Do I just bag it all and let them sort it out at the donation site? It's a community outreach center (they give away and not sell) and it does say "gently" used. But, for example, the cutoff shorts are in great shape and aren't stained. But are they gently used?

 

You might ask them what they do with clothes not good enough to sell. When I was in the Navy, we bought bales of rags for wiping up oil drips that were typically cast of clothes. So it may be that clothes not sellable to wear will still be something that can bring in support to the center.

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My pastor said once in a sermon that if we are going to donate something we would not want then don't donate it.

 

I just remember when we did a clothing drive years ago and someone donated clothes that looked like they used to clean the gas out of the lawn mower. They had a lot of grass stain and oil stains. There were ripped up jeans, too. These people then had the audacity to want a receipt for that trash. We were not giving away clothes like that so we threw them in the trash. Ever since that experience, I sort my clothes that I will donate. I give away clothes that are too small for my sons and I wash them to make sure they are in good condition. So, yes, I definitely sort clothes before donating. I think that it is important that people that need the clothes know that someone took the time pick out the nicest of their clothing for them.

 

Blessings to you!

 

Sincerely,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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Ask the place to which you are donating for guidelines; they will know best what they want/need. I volunteered at a thrift once; one of our biggest selling items was partly-burned candles, sold to folks whose electricity was cut off. Who knew?

 

I often shop thrift shops for clothes that I use to make bags, doll clothes, costumes, and so on. Things like shrunken sweaters, stained clothing that has nice fabric and trim away from the stain site, a bathing suit with worn-out elastic, etc. can be a real find for me and crafters like me. I made a great pool bag from a pair of board shorts, and a mess kit bag from another. I made a lovely makeup bag and matching makeup brush roll from a little girl's gingham dress, using the pre-embroidered images to really dress it up. I sometimes cut off a women's short skirt and put in an elastic waist to make a long skirt for my dd. I've made "historical" aprons from women's linen skirts. Any stains just give it an authentic patina.

 

BUT - not every donation center has customers who can/will use/want things like this, so if you ask, they can let you know.

 

You might also ask around about crafters who could use your stained clothing. For example, some folks make "made to match" Gymboree outfits for American Girl dolls using used Gymbo clothing. Making AG clothes from existing clothing is really fun - by carefully planning your cutting layout, you can use the already-applied trim and hems, so the clothing comes out looking like it's really been worn. (Think about a skirt cut from the hem of a pair of jeans - it will have the fading and wear at the hem, instead of a plain "homemade" hem.) I have a friend who collects shrunken sweaters and makes the most amazing things from them.

 

Also, as a PP said, some thrifts sell the not-perfect clothing as rags. One thrift I've visited takes off zippers and buttons from stained clothing, and sells them to crafters, though I think this is fairly rare. (It is in a remote area which does not have a sewing shop, so it's a real benefit to the local crafters.)

 

Some families would rather have a stained-but-quality Hannah A. dress than a perfect Walmart one, KWIM? Some little girls love "dress up", and mom is happy to dress them in not-perfect cast-off "party" dresses that she doesn't have to worry about them playing in because they didn't cost her a fortune to begin with.

 

When in doubt, I'd donate and let them decide.

Edited by askPauline
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I sort into 3 piles. One pile for the consignment store or personal 'gift' to a a family. One pile that is just for rags that I label "rags" and donate to Goodwill (stained, ripped, missing buttons, hem coming loose, frayed legs, seriously faded). Anything in between, I donate to Goodwill and let them sort it out.

 

If I was giving it to the church...I would only donate the consignment store goods and the best of the 'in-betweens'.

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Do you weed out clothes before you donate?

 

I sorted my dd's clothes out and have 2 huge lawn bags to donate. There are some really nice things that they have outgrown that I wouldn't have hesitated to have them wear again.

 

BUT, there are also...

 

--cutoff shorts

--very scuffed leather tennis shoes that still have good tread and are, structurally, in very good shape

 

Do I just bag it all and let them sort it out at the donation site? It's a community outreach center (they give away and not sell) and it does say "gently" used. But, for example, the cutoff shorts are in great shape and aren't stained. But are they gently used?

 

i'd go ahead and put those things into the donations ~ i say this as someone who loves thrift shops and has, indeed, bought both cut offs & "scuffed sneakers" before --- cut offs because dd13 and i both like them (she likes them hemmed, i like them frayed - so either way) and scuffed sneakers because we needed some to wear at the beach. :)

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I do weed. Anything that's still in decent shape I let friends with smaller children pick through. From that, the left-behind clothes are donated.

 

Things that aren't in decent shape go to a textile recycling box. Do you have those around? Or are they unique to my area (Seattle)? We've got one at a convenience store that's on the way out of my neighborhood.

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My understanding is that Goodwill will send unsellable clothing to a recycler. I would much rather have our old clothes recycled rather than just go to a landfill. So I don't usually throw things in our trash. Kids' clothes in decent shape go to a friend who loves hand-me-downs. If I give to other organizations (like the church that does a free clothing give-away for back to school), I will make sure that my donations are in good condition. But most everything else will go to Goodwill and I let them decide what they can sell and what goes to recycling.

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I give to different thrift stores and charities depending on what it is and what the charity wants it for. If the clothes are boarderline or iffy, I give them to Goodwill. Goodwills here take those and sells them for rags so they don't just end up in the dump somewhere. We have another thrift store that accepts all the 'junky' stuff like half burned candles and broken stuff so that is what take there. Another prefers housewares so those go there, especially since they don't like clothing unless it is in exceptional quality.

 

I would consider anything not stained and without holes to be gently worn.

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