Deutsche Kleiderstiftung
Deutsche Kleiderstiftung

New goods: Donate returns, don't destroy them

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The German Clothing Foundation welcomes advance of tax exemption for donations in kind.

The Deutsche Kleiderstiftung is particularly concerned about sustainability, both in its handling of clothing donations and in its aid projects. The current debate about the destruction of return shipments has preoccupied the aid organization for some time. It therefore supports any attempt to make donations more attractive.

"We provide national and international aid with textiles and shoes," explains Ulrich Müller, managing director of the clothing foundation, "for which we receive clothing donations from all over Germany. New goods that could not be sold are a great asset for the transports." Clothes and shoes as well as other textiles can simply be sent to the clothing foundation by parcel. A few online retailers have already taken notice of this donation option. But more and larger companies could follow the trend.

The wrong size, the wrong color or an unsuitable style: clothing in particular is frequently ordered over the Internet on the one hand and often returned on the other, without any actual damage. "If companies are deterred by VAT from donating intact clothing, serious thought must be given to a tax exemption" demands Müller. The common practice of writing off destroyed products is neither sustainable nor social, he said. The push of the Greens to waive the value added tax on donations in kind is therefore expressly welcomed by the executive committee.

The clothing foundation takes care of all aspects of textile aid, from collecting donations to sorting and packaging to transporting them to crisis areas or economically disadvantaged regions. In addition to combating poverty, the foundation also promotes decent and productive employment. Thus, in partnership-oriented development cooperation, clothing collection points and charity stores are set up to accept donations and to finance further aid. In this way, people are brought into employment and at the same time opportunities for textile aid are expanded.