Happy Earth Day!
As a Los Angeles Certified Green Business, doing good for our planet and our community is part of our mission.
When the pandemic ends and life returns to normal, that doesn’t mean we can return to business-as-usual. Great damage has already been done to our physical world, and we can’t continue on that path. Fortunately, we can still turn things around, but only if we work together.
One way we can make a difference is to stop discarding perfectly good clothing.
The average American throws out 81 pounds of clothing each year, and more than 70% is sent to landfill or incinerated. Repurposing a gently used garment extends its life on average by 2.2 years, greatly reducing its carbon, waste and water footprint.
In Los Angeles, an estimated 371,000 tons of textile products ended up in local landfills and waterways just last year. Approximately 95% of this material was recyclable and reusable clothes, shoes and other fabric products.
At the heart of what we do at Project Ropa is connecting people to much needed resources. This starts with keeping surplus clothing out of landfills and putting these shirts, pants, dresses and shoes into the hands of the 66,000+ people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
People who are homeless, especially the chronically homeless (76% of LA’s homeless population), face significant barriers to finding and keeping clothing that fits and meets their needs. They often wind up wearing dirty and wet clothes for long stretches of time out of necessity, making them vulnerable to the spread of transmissible diseases.
Since 2016, we have saved more than 130,000 pounds of clothing and textile materials from going to waste and in the process have provided clean clothes to 50,000+ unhoused and low-income individuals and families.
So far this year, we have distributed over 15,000 pounds of clothing and shoes through our direct services and our network of impactful community partners.
Last month, we doubled down on our mission and moved into a 1,200-square-foot warehouse, which will allow us to significantly expand our Community Clothing Bank. We’ll be able to give many more small- and medium-sized local nonprofit organizations access to our surplus clothing supplies, extending our reach to unhoused and low-income individuals and families throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
We currently provide clothing and shoes to a dozen community partners on a monthly basis. Our goal by the end of this year is to triple our impact, becoming the primary clothing resource for 36 local organizations.
We need your help to reach our goal.
Every dollar makes a difference!
When one person doesn’t have access to proper hygiene, the whole community is at risk. Help us continue to restore dignity and empower the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles by providing clean clothes, personal hygiene kits and water. And know that by doing so, you’ll also be helping the environment by reducing the volume of clothing and other textile materials that end up in landfills.