Clothing Bin FAQ
What about thrift stores?
Local thrift stores play a necessary role in the resale economy, however they can only handle 10-20% of what they receive
Aren’t bins hurting non-profits?
-No, bins don’t compete with local charities, everyone competes and loses to the landfill (85% of clothes end in the landfill and incinerator)
-Bins can actually help fundraise for non-profits and community groups
Are curbside clothing pickup programs better than bins?
-Bins are the best way to protect clothes from the elements. The only way clothing can be reused & recycled is if it’s clean. Curbside programs put clothes at risk of getting wet and dirty
-Curbside programs are not financially viable; they are costly and attract theft of bags left outside
-Environmentally, curbside programs add plastic bags to the local waste stream
Does HELPSY collect outside of the Northeast?
Not yet, but we would love our mission to be embraced all over the country
Don’t bins promote dumping?
If bins are not serviced in a professional manner, and bins are not placed in well-lit, high-traffic areas, dumping might be an issue
Where do the clothes go/do they hurt developing countries?
-All collected materials are sold to national and international retailers, wholesalers and recyclers. This works the same way as any other recycled materials collected from the public
-70% of the world buys used clothing. Our buyers sell to countries who pay for the clothes. If banned, the primary economic alternative would be more fast fashion. Reselling used clothes is the best way to give clothes a second life, mitigating their environmental impact
Do bins accept damaged materials/can’t I just give my best material to the thrift store?
Higher quality items support the entire collection process; reusing & recycling clothes and shoes can only happen at scale if bin and drives get range of quality to lesser quality items