The Best Places to Donate Scrap Fabric in the US
Published April 26, 2023
In 2018 alone, about 11.3 million tons of fabric waste ended up in US landfills. That’s about 7.7% of all landfilled solid waste materials that year.
Though unfortunate, this should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.
Instead of throwing away scrap fabrics and adding to the world’s solid waste problems, donate them to charity. You won’t only do Mother Nature a favor, but you’ll also give those fabrics a new life.
To help you out, we’re listing down the best places to donate scrap fabric in the US.
Where to Donate Scrap Fabric
Since there are hundreds of ways to recycle scrap fabric, there’s no shortage of charitable institutions that accept scrap fabric donations. This includes:
1. Quilts of Valor
As their name suggests, Quilts of Valor makes handmade quilts for veterans. It’s their way of comforting and healing service members who’ve been touched by war.
They only accept new or unused 100% cotton quilting weight fabric. Make sure it has no stains or disgusting odors. They also prefer white, blue, or red-colored fabrics since most veterans tend to pick quilts in that color.
Based in Bellingham, Washington, Ragfinery is a thrift store that also offers job training and community education. Their thrift store specializes in selling sewing materials like fabrics and yarns. They also have a Textile Waste Diversion Program that sorts fabrics and recycles or upcycles them.
Like most charities on this list, they only accept fabric donations that are clean, dry, and in usable condition. They must also not be smaller than 1 ft. x 1 ft.
3. Days for Girls International (DFGI)
While menstruation is a universal experience among women, it’s still stigmatized in some parts of the world. That’s what Days for Girls International (DFGI) is trying to address.
This organization makes washable menstrual pads that are distributed to third-world countries. It’s a more cost-effective alternative to regular pads or tampons since they can be reused for up to a decade.
Since they only make menstrual pads, DFGI requires specific types of fabrics. As such, they’ll only accept:
- 100% woven cotton fabric
- 100% cotton flannel
- polyurethane laminate fabric
They also require that donations be new and unlaundered. Bright, colorful ones are also preferred since they hide stains best.
Of course, good ‘ole Goodwill will be on this list. Their thrift stores accept and sell basically anything, including fabrics. They also have a textile recycling facility where they sort, recycle, or shred textile donations. These are then repurposed as rags and stuffing for toys and automobiles.
Goodwill has branches and donation centers in almost every city. So you won’t have a hard time finding one near you.
5. Salvation Army
Yes, Salvation Army accepts fabric donations too. Those that can still be sold are cleaned and displayed in their shops. While the rest are sold to bulk buyers by the pound. These are usually shredded and recycled into fillings, padding, and insulation materials, as well as acoustic dampeners.
You can bring your donation to any Salvation Army donation bin or thrift store near you. They also offer pick-up services. Just book a time and date on their website, and a Salvation Army truck will show up at your front door.
6. Threads of Love San Antonio
Infants usually outgrow clothing at lightning speeds. Unfortunately, not every parent can afford to buy new clothing every month. So if you have scrap fabrics that are suitable for infant clothing, donate them to Threads of Love San Antonio.
This faith-based charity organization makes clothes for premature babies born in crisis pregnancy care centers and hospitals. They also provide other care items like blankets and other handmade accessories to needy families with premature-born babies.
Aside from scrap fabrics, they also accept donations of yarn and other sewing/quilting items. If you have the time, they also offer patterns on their website so you can sew or knit the clothes yourself.
7. High School or Community Sewing Classes
Know of any sewing classes in your community? They’ll surely appreciate receiving free fabrics. Or if your local high school has sewing classes, you can ask them to upcycle your scrap fabrics. You can also donate them to trade schools or high schools in low-income communities.
8. Local Thrift Stores
Aside from Goodwill and Salvation Army, many local thrift stores also accept scrap fabric donations. Just remember that not all thrift stores have recycling facilities like the aforementioned two. So they’ll most likely only accept fabric donations that can still be sold.
9. Prison Sewing Programs
Many state, federal, and private prisons are now offering sewing programs for inmates. Aside from boosting their mental health, it also teaches them employable skills to prepare them for their eventual release.
So if your local prison offers sewing classes for its inmates, they’re a great option for fabric donations too. Just make sure to coordinate with the staff first as not all prisons accept donations from the public.
10. Local Recycling Programs
If your scrap fabrics have stains and holes in them, you’ll have a hard time looking for a place that will accept them. So the best place to bring them to is your local recycling program. Remember to coordinate with them first to see what kind of fabrics they’re accepting.
Other Ways to Recycle Scrap Fabric
If you can’t find a nearby place that accepts fabric donations, you can also upcycle them yourself. Here are some ways you can give new life to your scrap fabrics.
1. Pet bed for shelter animals
Animal shelters often rely on donations to provide the necessary supplies for their rescues. Unfortunately, sometimes, this just isn’t enough and pet beds often get too worn out before they can be replaced. So donating a handmade pet bed will surely be appreciated. You might even get a sloppy kiss from one of their furry guests.
2. Pillows for homeless shelters
Most homeless shelters won’t accept scrap fabrics but they’ll surely accept pillows and pillowcases. And if you have more than enough fabric, you can also make them some beddings, sheets, and even duvets.
3. Blankets for newborn babies
If your excess fabric is made from cotton, they’ll make great blankets for newborn babies. You can donate those blankets to hospitals, childcare facilities, and even homeless shelters.
Donate To The Poor & Homeless Of South Florida
Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen has fed the poor and homeless in South Florida over 900,000 hot meals since 1993. Our tax deductible non profit organization also accepts and distributes donations such as clothing, toiletries, shoes, bicycles, and more. You can donate to help the poor and homeless through our website.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and devoted Christian. She has a passion for writing about topics related to morality and helping the poor and homeless. She is the lead author for the Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen blog.
Correct Digital, Inc is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.