Kansas Citians have many options when it comes to donating used clothes, but the most convenient option is often the ever-present clothing donation bin. While running errands, it’s not uncommon to pass a dozen of these bins, all owned by different companies: Disabled American Veterans, Planet Aid and Resolution Reuse are just a few of those available in KC. Hale Center for Journalism reporter John McGrath investigated the differences between these bins, focusing on which bins make a local impact.
The second-hand clothing industry is worth more than $1 billion worldwide, according to a study commissioned by Oxfam. Research conducted at King’s College London indicates that the United States is the world’s largest exporter of second-hand clothing, even though, according to the National Resources Defense Council, each American throws away — and doesn’t recycle — 68 pounds of clothing annually. Altogether, this means that Americans and Kansas Citians have a ton of clothes that need to be recycled.
Resolution Reuse is a local for-profit company highlighted in the video piece. It purchases second-hand clothing from local charities and resells them to other companies, some overseas. McGrath visited the company’s warehouse to see how clothes are stored and sorted.