Declutter your closet
There are some innovative programs in Canada that are helping to expand the potential for used clothing, with textile-recycling programs topping the list.
The city of Markham, ON, has recently initiated such a project in partnership with The Salvation Army and Diabetes Canada. It collects all types of clothing, and those not suitable for resale are recycled and repurposed by other organizations into items like insulation and car seats. The bottom line is, your clothes don’t have to be in perfect condition to enjoy a second life.
If you do have some tip-top outfits, consider giving them to organizations that support women. For example, you can donate new or nearly new suits, shoes and accessories to Dress for Success. This organization, which has 11 locations across Canada, provides women with an initial suit for their first job interviews and up to a full work week of outfits once they land a job.
Other groups, such as The Cinderella Project in Vancouver, accept outfits – as well as in-kind and cash donations – for high school graduates who can’t afford formal attire for their graduation festivities (the site lists similar organizations across the country).
The more traditional way to donate clothing is to seek out charities with drop-off centres and donation bins. Other charities, such as Diabetes Canada’s Clothesline program, will pick up clothes on designated days directly from your home. Yard sales are also a classic way to get rid of old clothes.