sustainability

Donate Here Now!

July 15 is National Give Something Away Day, which means it’s the best time to finally re-evaluate, declutter and edit down your wardrobe, shelves and those kitchen cabinets. More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States, and the amount has doubled over the last 20 years. In 2014, over 16 million tons of textile waste was generated, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of this amount, 2.62 million tons were recycled, 3.14 million tons were burned for energy, and 10.46 million tons were sent to the landfill. An average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person per year. On average, nationally, it costs cities $45 per ton to dispose of old clothing so alternative reuse and recycling options are needed, like donating! One of the major barriers to getting rid of stuff, aside from starting, is that it’s not always easy to figure out what to do with it all and ensure they get to those who need them. Its easier to Marie Kondo our lives into a black garbage bag and find a corner to drop them off quickly, like a scene out of Law and Order: SVU. Where’s the love? Those items once desirable and a “must have” deserve the same vibrant, wide-eyed energy to find them a new home. Elizabeth Scad, says we ought to think of donating like match-making. We couldn’t agree more. “The goal is getting the right items to the right person, who will use them and prolong its life.”  It will take a little effort on your part, but before you toss those items into the suffocating garbage bag destined to landfills, get creative and consider this list of in need organizations that will take your various donations and repurpose them. The one piece of advice is Do your homework before donating Every charity needs certain types of books, and you may have to donate to more than one organization to get rid of your entire stash. Leave comments and additions below, share this list on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, in your group texts, at yoga, school or at brunch. Extend this to anyone, anywhere as these are local and global resources. 

Clothing

 

Adult:

100 Suits For 100 Men Accepts all business attire for both men and women from xs-6x. Men’s Suits, Dress shirts, belts, ties and briefcases.

Beacon’s Closet now collecting for Summer and exceptional items from Fall + Winter are always considered and you may get some change back!

Bridal Garden will collect your fairly clean, sellable condition bridal gown purchased within the last five years. 

Burlington Coat Factory Donate a gently worn coat at any Burlington get 10% off.

Carnicycle collects and recycles carnival costumes, feathers and beads across the Caribbean and America. 

Capital City Rescue  collects clothing, toiletries, vehicles and livestock, yup LIVESTOCK!

Clothing Works  is currently looking for donations of men’s and women’s interview clothing to help meet the demands of the job seekers that access our services.

DonateNYC  believes by donating and reusing goods instead of discarding them, New Yorkers can greatly reduce waste, conserve energy and resources, save money, and help provide jobs and human services for New Yorkers in need. Among many things collected after prom, you can donate your attire at a variety of locations throughout New York City. donateNYC has created a map of locations where you can drop off or mail in your gently used prom-wear.

GrowNYC hosts Stop n Swaps weekly in NYC. Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, housewares, games, books, & toys that you no longer need, and take home something new-to-you, free! You don’t have to bring something to take something. Stop by one of their weekly swaps.

International Rescue The IRC in Tucson is currently accepting donations of gently used coats and shoes for adults and children.

Riverside Library NYPL Grow Up Work Fashion Library Adults and teens who have low fines (less than $15) or no fines on their library cards can borrow items for a one-time, three-week lending period.

ThredUp — an online consignment shop & secondhand shopping destination. 

The Clothing Collaborative provides free professional clothing to low-income individuals who are completing job training, education programs, or seeking employment Many of the people we serve often have limited access to everyday necessities and resources, including appropriate attire to wear to a job interview or sweaters to wear during a cold winter storm.

Goodwill is a nonprofit that accepts new or gently used clothing, shoes, and other items. Stores are located all across the country and sell donated items at discounted prices.

Housing Works helps people living with HIV/AIDs by providing those in need with healthcare services, housing, job training, and legal services.

New York Cares not only collects over 2 million coats annually but they have also compiled this list of clothing donation resources.

Out Of the Closet 96¢ of every dollar collected by their stores directly fund AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs and services in the U.S. and abroad. They accept all donations. 

Operation Prom clothes high-school students in donated formal evening wear and accessories such as gently used dresses, tuxedos, bow ties, and evening bags.

Salvation Army accepts gently used items such as clothing, furniture, appliances and toys.

Traid charity shops urgently need your donations of unwanted clothes, shoes and more!  donate unwanted clothes, shoes at a local shop or book a pick up a

 U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants  winter gear, cleaning items, furniture, linens, and pillows

Wearable Collections helps residents and building managers install clothing and shoe collection bins in their buildings to make recycling clothes as easy as, well, recycling anything else. If you can’t get a bin in your building, use its website to search for a nearby Greenmarket that is home to one of its bins like the Carroll Gardens market.

US Again is looking for clothes, shoes and household textiles regardless of condition. Household textiles include tablecloths, towels, bedding, blankets, bedspreads, etc.

Women In Need, accepts dry-cleaned business attire.

Bras:

Bottomless Closet Founded in 1999 to help disadvantaged New York City women enter the workforce and achieve success. 

I Support The Girls collects and distributes donations of new and gently used bras, and individually sealed tampons and maxi pads to women and girls nationally and internationally. 

Meg Shops Donated bras are processed by Grow NYC greenmarket and recycled.

Free The Girls  makes donating bras super easy,  all you need to do is fill out the form.

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Children’s:

BABY2BABY collects everything from clothes to bouncy seats for children in need.

Brooklyn Family Justice Center Supported by the district attorney’s office, the Brooklyn Family Justice Center is a safe place for victims of domestic violence. It accepts baby items such as diapers, clothes and maternity wear, as well as toiletries.

CHiPs Soup Kitchen and Shelter feeds the hungry in their soup kitchen and shelter homeless young women & their infants and welcomes all baby items. 

Clothes4Souls  You’ve heard of Soles4Souls, the nonprofit that seeks to end poverty, and distribute shoes to people around the world. They are collecting clothing now. This new non-profit organization collects new clothes from manufacturers and gently worn clothes from you, then supplies them to impoverished countries around the world. With over 670 locations throughout the U.S.

Cradles To Crayons has two locations with unique needs but they are generally searching for everyday children’s shoes size 7-13 infant/toddler & size 1-8, Summer PJs, New socks and Underwear and T-shirts.

Good Foundation: Accepts gently used and new gear & clothing for infants and children age newborns through 14 years old, as well as maternity clothing. Schedule a pick up or drop off of your donations at their New York Loft.

Harlem Children’s Zone: accepts donations of tickets to plays, exhibitions, museums, concerts, sporting events and other cultural happenings to expose children and families to the enriching activities available in New York City and beyond.

Hour Children all children’s items except, Stuffed animals, Toys, Books, Recliners,Futons, Beds or Mattresses, Book cases, Large appliances, Exercise machines

Little Essentials Formerly based in Brooklyn, this nonprofit has moved to Tribeca where it accepts donations of goods for local families in need year-round. Always in need of diapers, bassinets, single infant strollers and infant car seats (manufactured after 2014).

ac83972061bc69be5cb52f44e5389539.jpgMaria Borges photographed by Iga Drobisz for Stern Magazine

Glasses & Hearing Aids:

New Eyes Used eyeglasses are sent to medical missions and international charitable organizations for distribution to the poor in developing nations. Please donate eyeglasses in good to excellent quality. No broken glasses! 

Starkey Cares collects which collects around 60,000 hearing aids a year. 

Hearing Aid Project a hearing aid that is no longer being used can make a big difference in someone else’s life – someone who could not afford a hearing aid without your donation.
 

Maternity:

Brooklyn Women’s Shelter, accepts gently used maternity clothing and baby bags.

El Nido is an exciting new faith-based program designed to support parents with 0 – 3 year old children Clothing, to size 5T, Shoes, to size 13, Toys, Children Books and blankets.

The City’s Family Justice Centers serves victims of domestic violence and their families and provide the help they need to begin to rebuild their lives. Baby products, maternity clothes and toiletries are always in demand. 

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Shoes/ Socks:

DSW Give A Pair of new or gently used shoes and receive 50 DSW points

Its From The Sole are a non-profit organization focused on collecting, refurbishing and giving away shoes & clothing to the homeless in New York City and other metropolitan areas.

Jack Rabbit if you’ve got a closet full of old running shoes, bring them to here and donate them to the MORE Foundation. MORE stands for modular organic regenerative environments.

Knock Knock Give A Sock While many people donate clothing, 9 out of every 10 people who have donated clothing have never donated a pair of socks. On top of that, most organizations do not accept gently used socks, but they so at KKGS! 

Nike: REUSE-A-SHOE Drop off your used Nikes at a participating location and help fuel future greatness.

Patagonia: Worn Wear Their secondhand program is called Worn Wear and includes some mix of the following: Buy used on Wornwear.com, trade used items in at a Patagonia store, get paid in Worn Wear, repair and care what you own, then recycle once beyond repair. 
 

Soles 4 Souls/Zappos For Good Donate a few pairs of shoes you no longer want to provide opportunities many need!

 

Other Household Items:

 

Animal Supplies:

NYC’s Animal Care and Control accepts all types of toys, supplies, and food for dogs, cats, and even rabbits. Make sure to check their site for exact food brands. 

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a round-up of pet-related charities that are always looking for pet blankets, bowls, leashes, collars, toys, and treats to help with their various missions.

Arts & Crafts:

Materials for the Arts collects a wide variety of items which are distributed for free to MFTA recipients in New York City’s artistic and educational communities. Typical donations include bolts of fabric, paper, art books, office supplies, electronics, props, paint, frames, craft supplies, and furniture. 

 FabScrap is your one-stop textile reuse and recycling resource for scraps. 

Bikes:

Recycle- A- Bicycle  Bike New York empowers all to transform their lives and their communities through bicycling.

Books/ DVDS:

Access Books seeks good condition, high-interest books for elementary school students.

Books For Africa Books For Africa appreciates all book donations.

Books Through Bars collects donated books and distributes them to inmates. Currently stocking up on African-American studies and radical history, Puerto Rican history, Urban Fiction (e.g. Teri Woods, Sister Souljah, Eric Jerome Dickey), Small business & Real Estate to name a few.

Bowery Residents’ Committee Women’s Homeless Shelter 

Hoboken Public Library For DVDs and books, you can donate to the Public Library. Tunes also will take old CDs and albums, but they inspect carefully so make sure they’re scratch-free.

Freecycle is a free, local online bulletin board dedicated to reusing goods. Create an account, post a brief description of the books you are looking to donate, and see if anyone local is interested in taking them.

Local Libraries/Indie bookstores, schools, hospitals  or retirements homes all welcome book donations but it’s wise to call in advance for specifics on current needs.

Cosmetics:

Contacts: Terracycle & Bausch +Lomb

Make Up Cases:  Send your empties back to the company in many cases. Retailers like LUSH, Mac, and Aveda all have recycling programs that you can take advantage of.

Mascara Wands: Wands for Wildlife Instead of throwing away your never ending purchases of mascara wands, rinse them off and send them to The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge for their Wands for Wildlife program. Your mascara wands will then be put to good use and used to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of wild animals. To watch a very cute video about this process check out the following link: Wands For Wildlife Video

Razors: Terracycle & Gilette All brands of blades and razors (systems and disposable units, and replaceable-blade cartridge units), rigid plastic packaging, and flexible plastic bag packaging.

Tooth Paste: Terracycle & Colgate Colgate® Oral Care Recycling Program Recycle all oral care products and packaging through this program.

Nail Polish: Polished Angels serves elders in the NYC community and the by giving free manicures in various nursing homes. 

Electronics/ Cellphones:

Best Buy take all kinds of used tech,* regardless of where you bought it, how old it is or who made it.

United States Environmental Protection Agency has curated a list of manufacturers and retailers offering several options to donate or recycle electronics, here.

Homeboy Recycling donate your cell phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and servers.

NYC Department of Sanitation makes tossing out electronics easy and safe.

All wireless phone service providers, like Verizon and AT&T,  accept up to ten old phones for recycling or reuse.

Furniture, Household, Tools, Etc.

Big Reuse accepts donations of reusable items: Appliances, Home goods, Home Decor, Furniture, Clothing, Books, Media, Plumbing, Lighting, Kitchens, Tiles, Paint, Tools and Renovation Supplies

Exodus Refugee  Pots and Pan Sets, Silverware, plates, cups, Dining Table and Chairs

Holiday LEDs It’s easy to participate all you have to do is send us your old Christmas lights for recycling and they’ll send you a coupon.

 Other Resources:

Curbside FREE 99 box

Host A Thrift Party or Swap

List items on Ebay, sell them or give them away on Craigslist for whatever you think you can get for them.

Spaces of Worship are staples of the community are in tune with the direct needs of the people they service. Even if you’re not religious and/or don’t belong to a church.

Did you find this helpful? Have a organization to add? Comment below.

 

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