Planet Aid is Born
In 1997 a small group of individuals came together in the Boston area with the idea of doing something good for the planet and the poor. To support their efforts, they started a nonprofit to save used clothing from disposal. They then sold the clothing they collected to raise needed funds.
Despite only having a few bins and a rented storage unit, success came quickly. Soon their intake of used clothes began to overflow the rented space. With more and more donated clothes coming in every day, the group moved to a small warehouse. Though growing fast, the aim remained the same: expand global environmental sustainability and mobilize resources to end poverty. It was thus fitting that the new charity was christened “Planet Aid.”
Today, Planet Aid is a highly efficient nonprofit business, recycling millions of pounds of used clothing nationwide every year. Throughout its growth, the organization has remained true to its nonprofit ideals, donating the surplus funds it generates by selling used clothing to support sustainable development around the globe. The donations have gone a long way toward helping the poor find and grasp opportunities that lead to lasting improvements and a better quality of life. Planet Aid–supported projects have focused on strengthening primary education, enhancing smallholder farmer production, increasing HIV awareness and treatment, improving rural infrastructure and sanitation, as well as providing food aid to the hungry.
Planet Aid is a longstanding member of the international development organization Humana People to People (HPP). HPP is a federation comprised of 32 national member organizations working in 43 countries.
As the name implies, the concept of providing assistance from people to people is integral to HPP’s philosophy and approach. Together, HPP’s members stand in solidarity with the poor and work with them hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder in the struggle to rise from poverty.
Humana People to People and its members are dedicated to empowering individuals and communities around the globe, creating momentum toward lasting development and change. They have demonstrated time and time again the advancements that are possible with tailored interventions that help mobilize the poor to action.
The Clothing Bin Connection
In developed nations such as the U.S., high relative wealth makes it possible for individuals to consider disposing of large amounts of clothing that — from the standpoint of the poor — has very high residual value. The poor in the developing world often have little more than one shirt, slacks and — if they are lucky — a pair of shoes. These they wear daily until they are beyond threadbare and no better than rags.
With the reality of this disproportionate wealth in mind, Planet Aid reaches out to Americans to donate their unwanted clothing items. By placing our collection bins in many convenient locations, we make it easy for you to stand with the poor of the world through the simple act of donating your clothes. The Planet Aid clothing collection bin is thus both a key functional element of our mission and a very visible symbol of our person-to-person global link of development aid.See All Blog Posts