Why people keep doing the one thing they shouldn't with old clothes.
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Savers + Value Village

Imagine this: You're walking through a mall or scrolling through your favorite fashion blog and then BOOM. You see it. The jeans you want — nay — need to have.

GIF via "María la del Barrio."

It doesn't matter that you just bought new jeans. These jeans are different. These jeans are the pair you've been wanting since, like, forever.


Sound familiar? It's a cycle that repeats itself with practically every article of clothing.

Here's the thing, though: What are you going to do with your old pair? The answer for many people is to throw it away.

Not donate to a charitable organization. Literally throw it away.

Image via iStock.

26 billion pounds of clothing goes to the landfill every year. That's 84% of all clothing and textile waste. Only the remaining 16% is actually donated.

But here's the kicker: The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) found that 95% of all worn or torn textiles can actually be reused or recycled!

So why aren't people donating these clothes?

Well, there are a lot of misconceptions around what can and can't be donated.

The main one being that people underestimate the potential of used clothes. In the 2017 State of Reuse Report commissioned by Savers, 62% of people who admitted to throwing clothes in the trash did so because they thought their stuff wasn't good enough to donate. (It probably was.)

Image via iStock.

In the same report, 75% thought torn or soiled clothes could not be recycled. In fact, they can! According to SMART, any kind of clothing can be repurposed or recycled as long as it isn't wet or contaminated with harmful substances such as paint or oil.

If more people knew that, would it make a difference? Well, in the same Savers report, 75% of respondents agreed with the following statement: "If I better understood how my actions hurt or helped the planet, I would be more likely to make environmentally conscious decisions."

Image via iStock.

There are many reasons why it's great (and easy) to donate old clothes. For one thing, it doesn't take as many resources to give those old clothes new life.

Remember those jeans from earlier? It can take more than 1,800 gallons of water to make one new pair. New cotton T-shirt? That can take up to 700 gallons of water — more than the average person drinks in five years. But if you donate an old pair of jeans or a cotton shirt for someone else to buy, that's less of a burden on the planet over time.

Image via iStock.

And that's just water savings! It takes nine pounds of fossil fuels to make one cotton shirt, so think of all the other resources that reusing saves, too.

All it takes is a little time and understanding to make a world of difference.

In fact, there are things you can do right now to lead the change. For starters, if you have clothes or other household items that you don't want anymore, don't throw them in the trash.

Instead, donate them at nearby donation centers, such as a local Savers thrift store, or donation bins in your community to give these items the second life they deserve and bring someone else joy.

Image via iStock.

Remember, donating benefits local charitable organizations and the very neighborhood you live in. In fact, your donations turn into funding that fuels these organizations’ missions. So by reusing and recycling locally, you're giving neighbors a chance to put great items to good use.

On top of that, spread the word with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to get as many people as possible following suit. That way, the next time someone clears out their closet, they'll remember the road their clothes took to get there — and how they can affect that cycle in a big way.

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A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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