Community asked to donate clothes during September for Birchwood families in need

April 24, 2018

Birchwood Elementary in partnership with RE Sources’ Sustainable Schools program is hosting a clothing drive for Birchwood families in need. The clothing drive will begin Tuesday, August 28th, with collection barrels located at RE Sources, Ragfinery, and Birchwood Elementary, and end Friday, September 14th.

The clean, gently used items will be distributed to students and families in need during a “Back-to-School Clothing Market” held on Tuesday, September 18th at the Birchwood Elementary School from 4:15 – 6:15 PM.

“Purchasing clothing, new or used, at the start of a school year is expensive,” says Carolyn Feffer, the school counselor at Birchwood Elementary. ”Together, we can alleviate the financial strain on local families, divert apparel from landfills, and conserve resources by reducing the need to buy new clothes,”

“RE Sources’ Sustainable Schools program is providing ways for students, teachers, and families to reduce their waste, conserve water, and make smarter energy choices,” according to  Sasha Savoian, Education Specialist for RE Sources. “The textile and clothing industry contributes 10% of global carbon emissions, and is the second largest industrial polluter in the world. Small actions like recycling instead of trashing outgrown clothing can make a big difference to the planet, and to those who need it.”

According to the Council for Textile Recycling, 25 billion pounds of textiles end up in landfills each year in the U.S. alone — a number that continues to grow every year. The EPA estimates that the textile recycling industry fails to recycle approximately 85% of post-consumer textile waste. The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.

Families throughout Bellingham are asked to donate clean and gently used long and short sleeve shirts, pants and jeans, skirts and dresses, sweaters and sweatshirts, coats, backpacks, shoes, and hangers.

Funding for this clothing drive and market comes from Re-Use Works and Ragfinery, who create job opportunities while reusing and upcycling discarded materials and textiles.

Media Contact: Sasha Savoian, RE Sources Sustainable Schools Education Specialist,, (360) 733-8307 ext. 266