According to various estimates, here’s what happens to your clothing giveaways. In most cases, a small amount of the items, the best quality castoffs â€” less than 10 percent of donations â€” are kept by the charitable institutions and sold in their thrift shops to other Americans looking for a bargain. These buyers could be people who are hard up, or they could be folks who like the idea of a good deal on a stylish old item that no longer can be found in regular stores.
The remaining 90 percent or more of what you give away is sold by the charitable institution to textile recycling firms.
Most of the clothes are recycled into cleaning cloths and other industrial items, for which the recyclers say they make a modest profit.
Twenty-five percent, however, of what the recycling companies purchase from charities is used not as rags, but as a commodity in an international trading economy that many American may not even know about.