Using Second Hand Clothing to Fund Charitable Work

Every nonprofit charity faces the challenge of fundraising, and since the requests for assistance are great, the need to find diverse revenue streams is paramount. One way some charities are increasing their coffers is by reselling second hand clothing to textile recyclers, who share a percentage of the sales of these garments, which in turn helps fund the organisation’s charitable work.

Not all nonprofits have the resources or volunteer staff to open charity shops to resell donated items. But, those charities without this avenue for revenue, need not rule out second hand clothing as a way to make money. In fact, it can be extremely lucrative, since charities who collect clothing for resale specifically to textile recyclers, unlike those who try to resell in the charity shop, can take any kind of garment in any condition. Textile recyclers have the staff and expertise to sort and grade the garments to sell as quality second hand clothing or as textile materials that can be shredded and used in the automotive, insulation or upholstery industries.

Savanna Rags, an international recycler and exporter, is a good example of how organisations can use second hand clothing to fund charitable projects. Here’s how it works. The charity can gather the clothing themselves or use a collection bank located in a car park for drive-up donations. Savanna Rags collects these garments and takes them back to their warehouse for sorting, grading and baling. Then, the garments are sold according to their weight and grade, with most of the garments being exported to Africa and Eastern European countries in need. The charity receives a percentage of the sale from Savanna Rags, to put towards the mission of their organisation.

Several charities are currently working with Savanna Rags to assist the businesses fundraising efforts. These include: Al-Ain International Trust; Al-Mustafa Welfare Trust; the National Police Aid Convoys (NPAC); and UHURU (Peaceful) Trust. The proceeds from their efforts have helped people in the most devastated and disadvantaged regions of the world by providing disaster relief, fresh water projects, the building and funding of hospitals, implementation of medical procedures, educational programmes, the construction of schools, orphan sponsorships and more. In the UK, Mansfield’s Heroes Memorial Fund raises money to establish a memorial to those British soldiers from the Mansfield district who were killed in action since the end of World War II as well as donating to organisations that specifically address the needs of the country’s ex-service personnel. Online updates from Savanna Rags are provided for more information on these charitable organisations.