HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tens of thousands of donations were sent to Maui to help those who lost everything in the fires.
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But not all donated clothing items were reusable. In fact, one of the eco-conscious shops at Napili Marketplace, which became a donation hub after the fires, noticed dozens of garbage bags filled with clothes being put into the dumpster.
“I can’t even quantify the amount of clothes we received here,” said Megan Dalbac, Hoolawa Maui owner. “It was filling up our shop, our sidewalks, and alleyways, we even had to utilize two vacant spots in the plaza just for sorting and going through the stuff.”
She said other stores were throwing out clothes because they had stains, holes, or were completely unusable.
Dalbac is friends with the girls who run Keep it Simple on Oahu and decided to team up with Rosalie Snyder and the company For Days, to ensure all clothes can be recycled and not go to waste.
“A lot of people believe when we donate our clothes it goes to somebody in need, but actually 85 percent of textiles end up in the landfill,” Snyder explained.
Keep it Simple said its still being asked if they’re taking donations for Maui.
“People have this innate desire to help and save their clothes so it won’t go to waste,” said Hunter Long, co-owner of Keep it Simple. “And they just need that right avenue to do that and that’s what we’re trying to do with our event on Sept. 16, because a lot of people had the good intention to donate but they might have missed the window to do so and now they can make use of their clothing at the event or donate their items that wouldn’t be reusable like worn or tattered items and now it can be recycled properly.”
Next Saturday people are encouraged to go to Keep it Simple Kapolei where they can swap any unwanted clothes and the ones left over, will be shipped to For Days on the mainland and then made into new clothes.
“Every bag For Days receives, is individually sorted by a human to make sure if there’s an item that’s brand new with tags or clean it can be re-worn again, but there’s so much they receive that can’t be worn,” Snyder explained.
Sept. 16 is World Clean Up Day. People who would like to donate their clothes for recycling can go to Keep It Simple’s Ka Makana Alii location between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 16.
There will be a clothing swap first, Keep It Simple asks people to bring donations in two bags, one for the clothing swap, and the other bag for items that cannot be worn.
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All clothing, baby clothes, purses, bags, hats, shoes, necklaces and bracelets will be accepted to be recycled.