What happens to used clothing and items donated?
Used clothing ends up in many different places. Thrift stores, homeless shelters, third world countries and different recycling plants. Almost half (48 percent) of the clothes that we and other textile recycling industry members recover are reused as secondhand clothing, which is typically sold to third-world nations. It is through our industry’s efforts that the world’s poorest are clothed. Secondhand clothing is all that is affordable to an individual earning $200 annually. Industry members are capable of delivering a pair of pants in clean, damage-free condition to the east coast of Africa for $.34 a pair and sweaters to Pakistan for $.12 each–less than the cost of mailing a letter. These prices include not only the garment, but the cost of transportation as well. Association members are able to do this because of their investment in equipment and facilities to process efficiently and economically the huge volume of material that is handled. Approximately 20 percent of the material