Donate those old clothes, don’t bin them, urge Shelter and Zero Waste Scotland


ALMOST half of consumers throw clothes in the bin each year, according to charity Shelter Scotland.

The organisation is urging people to “pass it on” instead by donating unwanted clothes to one its 37 shops.

As well as raising badly-needed income, the move would reduce the amount of old clothing that ends up in landfill sites.

Shelter is supporting Zero Waste Scotland’s Pass It On Week, which started in March 7 and runs for a week.

Shelter's shops, such as this one in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, raise badly-needed cash to help the homeless
Shelter’s shops, such as this one in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, raise badly-needed cash to help the homeless


According to separate research, around 60,000 tonnes of waste could be re-used immediately or after minor repair.

The needlessly dumped “waste” – the equivalent of 5,000 bin lorries – comprises 52% furniture, 24% textiles and 24% electronics.

All these items could – and should – be donated to charity, says Shelter Scotland.

According to research a charity shop can help to divert up to 34 tonnes of textiles away from landfill each year.

The director of Shelter Scotland, Graeme Brown, said: “Throwing out clothes and other items that could be re-used by someone else is a real shame when you consider that donating an old jumper or coat could help a family facing the human tragedy of homelessness.

“It costs just £10 to help a family or individuals through our free national helpline. We hope that people across Scotland will embrace Pass It On Week and do their bit to help not only the environment, but people facing the housing crisis within their own communities.”

Earlier this month Shelter Scotland revealed that almost £2.4bn-worth of old, unworn or forgotten clothes are hanging in wardrobes across Scotland – an average of £1,000 per household.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:  “Pass it on Week is all about ensuring items stay in use for as long as possible, and donating things to charity is a great way to make sure your things go on to have another life after you’ve finished with them.”