Clothing Donation Box: "Donating" Isn't Necessarily Charitable

You wanted to get rid of some old clothes, but Goodwill is not yet open. There's a clothes donation box in the next parking lot, so why not put it there? After all, donating is donating, right? Not so fast:

Some of the more controversial new boxes are placed by recyclers who consider collecting used clothes to be a charitable environmental program or who create and run their own charity to which they donate funds.

One of the biggest players, Gaia, falls in the first category. Over the last several years it has been criticized for characterizing itself as an environmental charity with projects around the world, when most of its environmental work remains collecting clothes for sale. Along with the related organizations Planet Aid and USAgain, Gaia has expanded in the last decade despite its connection to the controversial Danish organization Tvind, whose leader was acquitted of charges of money laundering and embezzlement in 2006.

Monica Eng of The Chicago Tribune has the in-depth story: Link

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There's a similar problem in the UK with door to door charity bag clothing collections. Check out charitybags.org.uk for some more information.
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