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Donating second-hand clothes: Charity or fuelling an unethical multi-billion Dollar industry?

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posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:20 PM
After I saw the way our local SA and goodwill was handling things I decided to reach out to my stepmom who found needy families in her community and we give the stuff directly to them....

We have a locally owned furniture store where we buy all our furniture and they put us in touch with a local charity that comes and picks up our old furniture, gives us a receipt and tells us where the furniture is connection to the big guys.
edit on 31-5-2012 by timetothink because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 31 2012 @ 11:41 PM
reply to post by popsmayhem

That's a good point.

I think in the documentaries they raise direct concerns like the destruction of local textile mills and resulting sweat shops (and as one poster added, some garments are even patched up and returned for resale to sender).

There's also a notion that they can be burnt in some countries, which is really the same as sending your trash to another country or ocean (which also happens all the time).

Then there's definitely a psychological effect that's hidden by smugness in the West, but that holds a powerful incentive for shifting populations to follow the perceived riches.
Added to this is the sad collapse of human diversity in dress (or sometimes lack there-off).

Even in the 1980s one could tell a tribe in a rural area by their tribal dress, especially for the women.
Now that's all gone.
The fantastic bead-work, 19th century elaborate headdresses and colorful blankets - all gone.
I think it highlights a real feeling of loss and despair to be dressed in Western rags and hand-me-downs, or uniform black hajibs.
Maybe not all the people feel that way, but I'm sure there's a loss of culture and identity that goes with that.

I think maybe one could lessen it a bit in the West, and not fall for every new fashion craze.

How many people can still sew socks and put patches on pants?
It's not difficult.
And if you keep your clothes for long enough they'll be back in fashion again at least three times in the average life time.

Buy less, fix more and wear it for longer, perhaps?
edit on 1-6-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 12:08 AM
I'm thinking of mending socks, for example.

I think nowadays that's even below the average beggar with a cardboard sign standing in the street.

Yet in my childhood that was normal, and in the post-WW II years almost all the kids had patched or mended clothing.

However, the problem is that if one buys cheap clothes, mending or patching them is almost impossible.
The effort outweighs the price, and the patch or thread will last longer than the entire garment.

posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 07:25 AM
Here's an interesting article from Time World (Nick Wadhams, May 12, 2010) on a drive to collect shirts for charity, which backfired when "aid critics" heard of the project.
Are aid critics going too far?

In the history of foreign aid, it looked pretty harmless: a young Florida businessman decided to collect a million shirts and send them to poor people in Africa. Jason Sadler just wanted to help. He thought he'd start with all the leftover T-shirts from his advertising company, I Wear Your Shirt. But judging by the response Sadler got from a group of foreign aid bloggers, you'd think he wanted to toss squirrels into wood chippers or steal lunch boxes from fourth-graders.

Read more:

edit on 1-6-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 05:47 PM
Oh my hat!

Canada's Clothing Bin Wars!

Canada's main for-profit market for deceptive "charity bin" clothing is Angola.
It has become so profitable that drivers from different companies are known to steal clothes from rival bins, set them on fire, or even assault the competition!
A supervisor for such a company can make $12 000 a week, and a driver $200 000 a year.
In one year the profit was over $174 million.

Between these are bins of real charities, like the Salvation Army, yet even bins affiliated to the police could not prevent deceptive stickers linking them to for-profit charities, thus obscuring any clarity for the donors.

As the one lady in the clip says, she donates to help people, not to make some thugs rich.
But how many bother to find out what are real or fake charities?
Even the real ones make some profit, which is apparently re-invested in the charity itself.
The advice is to do the homework.

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 05:53 PM
According to charity watch group, The American Institute of Philanthropy, only 23 percent of "Planet Aid" profits from donated clothes go to charity (probably better than most), so in 2007 they got a visit from an ABC News affiliate to answer some questions:

Please see: The American Institute of Philanthropy.
edit on 3-6-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 06:05 PM
Usagain - Truth behind donation bins.

Donators and businesses are duped into supporting and funding for-profit charity bins, tied to a Danish founded cult called Tvind and fraudulent activities.

Sadly real charity bins that support local certified charities that do vocational training with the disabled suffer:

edit on 3-6-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 06:47 PM
The charity clothes/cult connection.
Part II of a Fox investigation into Planet Aid.

Of course every group is different and not they're necessarily connected.
But I do have an uneasy feeling that many of these networks were set up by leaders who exploited idealistic young people since the 1970s.

It's a messy business playing on charitable feelings in richer countries, and desperate need in poorer ones.
Little is known on the middle-men who run the distribution in Third World countries.
I'm not sure, but there does seem to be some co-operation because after viewing a number of reports one company will focus on a certain country, and another will do so in another. So one can link the for-profit companies that take over from charities in the second step of the industry, and one focuses on for example Tanzania, another on Malawi, another on Angola and another on Guatemala and they don't interfere with each other, it seems.
I suspect some churches and charities are also involved.
Once exposed a company can also change its name and change the scam somewhat.
There have been exposés for a while now, so I'm not sure how much of this is still going on.
But that's my speculation.

edit on 3-6-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 07:56 PM
Aljazeera's Witness episode: Mitumba.

"Dead white men's clothes," says one African quote, "because nobody throws away things one can still use except a dead person."

That's perhaps somewhat dramatic, but certainly a story of global connection.

Very interesting, showing a changing face of the Mitumba clothes.
The story follows a donated shirt from Europe to Africa.
In villages the second-hand clothes still dominate, but some are already wearing cheap Chinese clothes from town.
When the Mitumba are no longer needed, then where will the West put it's old clothes and shoes, and where will the Africans put theirs?
That's an interesting and somewhat ironic question posed in the documentary.
edit on 3-6-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

(post by wholesaleusedclothes removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

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