Humana People to People

Humana People to People

Clothes Collections

The Humana People to People clothing collection and sales programme helps to address the serious environmental and social impacts of the global clothing supply chain. The collection and selling of used clothing has been developed over many years as a social business to create double value in achieving a positive benefit to fight climate change and address development challenges in the global south. 

With the re-use of recovered materials in consumption cycles, there is a strong decrease in CO2 emissions compared to the production of virgin materials. Simultaneously, clothing that is transported to developing countries is proven to support hundreds of thousands of jobs annually. Indeed, the garments the Humana People to People members distribute in their partner countries represent an important source of clothing for significant parts of these populations. These used imports provide cheap and good quality clothing for those who otherwise may not be able to afford it.

Did you know: 

  • Globally, we are dumping about 1.1 million tonnes of used textiles in the bin of which about 430,000 tonnes is good quality clothing
  • An average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person. On average, nationally, it costs cities $45 per ton to dispose of old clothing
  • Synthetic clothing may take hundreds of years to decompose
  • It is estimated that ¾ of consumers throw away rather than recycle or donate unwanted garments
  • Approximately 12,000 tonnes of Nordic textiles exported to the African continent alone are estimated to support more than 10,000 market sellers and their families
  • In spring 2017, 235m items of Britain’s unwanted clothing ended up in landfill

The Process

Tens of thousands of tonnes are collected annually through a network of drop-in bins located across Europe and USA. The collected clothing is processed, sorted and given value; some clothing is retained in Europe while other items are dispatched to developing countries where Humana People to People members operate, including Malawi, D.R. Congo and Mozambique. 

Once the clothing reaches its final destinations, it is sorted and repacked for wholesale or retail sale at the Humana People to People shops. In developing countries in particular, many rural people take advantage of the affordable used clothing to create sustainable livelihoods – by further sorting and treating garments and reselling them on local markets. In Europe as well as in the receiving countries, the profits generated by the clothing sold are allocated to development activities – thereby creating a sustainable source of income for thousands of projects globally. 

Humana People to People is continuing to conduct studies into the impact of Second hand clothes collection, both in developing countries and in Europe. If you would like more details on our work in this area, please contact us. 

To read reports on the social, ecological and environmental benefits of clothes collection – please download reports Here:


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