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Clothing donation X clothing disposal: understand the difference

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

With the tragedy happening in  Rio Grande do Sul we saw many people mobilizing to donate and help. However, people working at the donation centers started to post videos showing the poor quality of the clothing they received and begging for the  people to donate usable things. After all, they could have lost everything, but they still needed good items  to be able continue their lives.  


Vale lembrar que doação não é descarte! Vamos doar com muito amor e também com muita noção. ❤️ Procure um ponto de arrecadação perto da sua casa.

♬ som original – Franklin Medrado

These videos generated controversy and criticism on social media with people saying that they were being ungrateful. However, a phrase emerged and took over the hashtags: “donation is not disposal”, appearing  mainly in the videos showing “donations” to raise awareness among the population.

And what is the true difference between them? Firstly, when we donate something it must be in a good condition because someone will use it, so the useful life of the piece cannot be over. That means that clothes with holes, tears or stains can´t be donated in that state, if you can fix it then do it, but if you can’t, they must be disposed of.  

When you don’t want a piece of clothing anymore you must ask yourself: if I received that piece, would I be able to wear it? If the answer is yes then you can donate. 

Just to be clear: clothing donation is when something  in a good condition is given to a charity; clothing disposal is the action or process of throwing away or getting rid of the old clothing. 

Now that we know the difference, you might be asking yourself, “how can I dispose of my clothes correctly?” You basically can do it in two ways: recycling or upcycling the fabrics.

  • Recycling: Yes fabrics are recyclables, but you can’t discard them anywhere. There are lots of projects that collect these pieces and recycle them. 
  • Upcycling: You can transform the fabrics into crafts such as bags, carpets, etc.

Respondendo a @★Guilherme freire★ errar pode, desistir não 🫵 #DIY #upcycling #thriftflip

♬ som original – Alexia Fabriani


The article above was edited by Maria Esther Cortez.

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Beatriz Tomagnini

Casper Libero '27

Studying journalism at Cásper Líbero College. I aim to inspire girls who love communications and writing to follow their dreams.