Deutsche Kleiderstiftung Collecting and fair sharing clothes


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Sustainable action starts at home.

Every year in Germany about one million tons of used clothes are given in used clothes containers or collections. And even if sustainable consumption suggests buying less and wearing the clothes for longer, there are understandable reasons to part with clothing and footwear. The crucial questions are then, where and in what state do I give up my no longer needed clothes.

The cutting and disposal of intact clothing to prevent alleged profiteering is certainly the worst. Because the carrying on of used clothing is not only a benefit for people with low income, it is also good for the LCA due to the longer use of resources. Likewise, you should not throw anything into any container without knowing the operator. Clues for reputable collectors are provided by the location search for FairWertung e.V., the umbrella organization of non-profit organizations that collect used clothing. Anything you would carry yourself is in good hands with such organizations. Anything that is heavily soiled or damaged should be disposed of with household waste. In many cities and communities, disposal companies have also placed containers in which fabric remains and broken clothing can be thrown. A look at the inscription is worthwhile.

An increasingly popular way of passing on good clothes is the donation of clothes in the package with free shipping to the German Dress Foundation. With DHL or Hermes there is always a dispensing facility nearby. And when you pull it out of the cupboard into the box, you get a good feeling and grow the certainty that everything benefits social projects.

A sorting "for warmth and dignity"

We receive clothing donations in different ways, be it in the package, via containers or through collection campaigns in church parishes. All incoming clothing donations will be reviewed and sent for further determination. Every single piece of clothing has to be picked up and looked at carefully. In this strenuous work, high concentration is required throughout. The sorting takes place according to season, gender, size and quality. In addition, we not only collect and distribute clothes. Shoes, household linen such as towels or bed linen, and accessories such as belts, handbags, scarves and shawls, hats and gloves are also important components of our charitable work.

We are happy that people know about our concerns. After all, we are not a recycling company and not a waste disposal company. We need good, wearable clothing and shoes for our humanitarian aid. Most donated things meet this criterion. So we can help according to our slogan "For warmth and dignity". After all, it is our aspiration to not only provide people in need of protection from the cold, etc., but also to let them participate in social life, thus offering you clothes that are not scuffed, worn or unfashionable, that stigmatize and marginalize you. Again and again we receive letters of thanks and feedback that the donation recipients are very happy about the quality of the clothes. We would like to extend this thanks to all supporters who donate good, in part new clothes and shoes, household linen and accessories.

Finally, our diligent sorters are very happy to have such conscientious donors. They are happy to receive clean textiles and shoes washed while doing physical work. After all, one hears and reads in the media over and over again of worn clothes, garbage and dirt, which also affects other donations and impairs the manual work. That's why it's so nice to open one package after the other and every time a pleasant scent is given off and radiant clothing comes out that you are happy to pass on. Many Thanks!

Packaging and loading under sustainable aspects

The transport of relief supplies to the needy is, of course, an important part of humanitarian aid. Here, too, sustainability is a key factor. This is particularly evident in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Within Germany, we have established the diaconal cycle. In doing so, we bring much-needed clothing ranges to clothing stores and social institutions. Thanks to our exact sorting, we can accurately deliver what is needed in each location. In return, we take with us donations that are not needed there. Many clothing stores and social department stores receive donations directly, which they either can not store or simply can not recycle. Our cooperation partners appreciate the opportunity to pass on the donations entrusted to them for the benefit of others and our van avoids empty runs.

International aid transport also requires an efficient approach. The sorted clothing is therefore neatly folded and then pressed into bales. At a weight of around 50 kg, up to 150 garments form a cube with an edge length of about 55 cm. These can be loaded wonderfully and guarantee a better utilization of the loading area than banana cartons could. And since the bales continue to be pressed separately according to the sorted groups (men's, women's, children's clothing, summer, winter, household linen, etc.), it is also ensured that the auxiliary transport is not too one-sided. For example, shoes are not pressed but packed in bags or boxes.

Incidentally, sustainable help also includes the decision not to work worldwide. From our point of view, it does not make sense, for example, to bring clothes donations into the Pacific region due to the costs, the ecological burden of the long transport, but also because of the suitability of the donations. In the event of serious disasters, natural disasters or similar situations, it is more appropriate to donate money and supply from the region.

Emergency aid and development aid: Sustainable design of projects

With the donations of clothes entrusted to us, we support people in Germany and internationally. The help goes far beyond deliveries in acute emergencies. The establishment of structures and the establishment of charitable institutions are important components. Several Sustainable Development Goals for the 2030 Agenda are being pursued.

For all projects, we have local cooperation partners who accept and distribute the donations. In Germany, for example, these are diaconal clothing chambers, city or station missions, and internationally, it can be parishes or NGOs. This has many advantages. On the one hand there are no costs due to the travel and accommodation of helpers. In addition, the organizations know the respective (legal, cultural, etc.) conditions for the distribution. However, it is important and controlling that we cooperate with reputable and reliable partners.

In several projects (currently in Kaliningrad and Albania) we help with know-how and resources organizations to build their own support structures. In addition to combating poverty, it also promotes decent and productive employment. This results in a partnership-oriented development cooperation clothes collection sites and charity shops to collect donations on site and to finance further offers of help. In this way, people are brought into employment and expanded at the same time possibilities of textile help. According to the basic principle of "help for self-help", people are enabled to build up a qualitatively better life for themselves.

Charity-Shop Zweimalschön Financing of project work and sustainable consumption concept

In England, the first charity shop was opened in the last century. And while there are only a few shops of this kind in Germany, a large industry has developed there. Charity shops help charity organizations, the environment and the community in a variety of ways.

The revenues of the different charity shops finance, among others, medical research, development aid, hospices, homeless shelters or environmental initiatives. In the case of the Deutsche Kleiderstiftung, the revenues of Zweimalschön are used to finance the collection, sorting and preparation of aid for the projects. Consumers also have a profit with every purchase. Twice shops are a reliable source for cheap but high quality products.

The benefits to the environment are obvious. The sale of used goods prevents them from landing in landfills. Considering that the production of garments consumes thousands of liters of water, disposing of more portable items can not be a solution. The same applies to the conservation of resources for shoes, books and household items, which are also offered at twice the price.

And those who do volunteer work have other benefits: They can make new friends and acquire new skills, gain work experience and upgrade their curriculum vitae, or "retire". The volunteers and the shops themselves act as brand ambassadors and spread the goal of our organization: to help people with appropriate clothing.