Can You Donate Old Bathing Suits?

can you donate old bathing suits

If you are looking to get new clothes but have a wardrobe full of old clothing that are in decent condition, but well past the return date, it’d be a shame to just toss them in the trash. It is estimated that 10 million tonnes of clothing are sent to the landfill to be incinerated each year in North America. Most of these clothes could simply be donated or recycled.

At the very least, we can give people the benefit of the doubt that they are doing it because they aren’t aware of the other options, not because they don’t want to help the less fortunate or are wasteful. So in this article, we want to shine a light on something you may not realize: you can donate your old bathing suits.

We cannot guarantee that all thrift stores or charitable organizations will accept bathing suit donations, but enough do that it’s worth looking into. Obviously this can differ depending on which store or nonprofit organization, and each one has the right to refuse your donation if they feel it is in poor condition. However, you will not know unless you try, so at least visit a local thrift store and see how it goes.

In this article, we will discuss reasons why you should donate, places you can donate to, and how you can increase the chances of getting your donation accepted.

Why donate?

If you have experience buying or selling used items, you know that items can be kept in pristine condition and work just as well as the day it was manufactured if the previous owner was careful with it.

However, rather than worry about what the going rate for an item is in the second hand market, you can simply donate it to a thrift store or charitable organization where it will eventually end up in the hands of someone less fortunate who would benefit from it more.

It could be that your bathing suit is too large for you, it rides up, or you just don’t like how it looks anymore so you want a new one. But if it’s still in relatively good condition, there’s no reason to just toss it in the trash. If there were a way to simultaneously get it off your hands into another person’s who can make good use of it, why not?

Donating could be your good deed for the day and it helps you get rid of clutter in your home. It’s a win-win, especially if the item is not something that can be easily resold. In the case of old bathing suits, which is definitely not something that many people are willing to buy used, it’s a better option than tossing it in the dumpster. At the very least, it could be recycled.

Does Goodwill take old bathing suits?

In North America, Goodwill is probably the first name you think of when considering organizations to donate your old items to. They accept a lot of items, but do they accept bathing suits?

While they do not explicitly say that they accept swimsuits or bikinis, we believe it does fall under at least a couple of their official categories.

If you look at their donation guidelines across some of their websites for different Goodwill locations, it does say that Goodwill accepts clothing of “all sizes, styles, and conditions”, and that unacceptable clothing can be recycled. Or perhaps bathing suits fall under the category of “sports equipment”, in which case it is accepted as well.

On top of that, we have firsthand experience with successfully donating our own used swimwear, and others have as well, but your mileage may vary depending on the employee you’re dealing with and the condition of your used bathing suit.

What condition should a bathing suit be in order to be accepted?

black dots on bathing suit

Even though we said that Goodwill accepts old bathing suits, that is contingent on the quality of the suit you brought in. If you bring in some smelly, old, tattered and moldy bathing suit, do you think they would accept that? As long as you use your common sense and make an effort to bring in something in decent condition, it will probably be accepted. Here are a few points to consider:


Is the bathing suit clean? Did you at least wash it before bringing it in, or does it still reek of saltwater or chlorine? You would be surprised at how much a thorough wash can work wonders on the perceived quality of an item. As long as it looks clean, smells nice, and isn’t raggedy, it will probably be accepted.

Not stained

Stains are a big no-no. Hygiene is a major concern, and a visible stain is a deal-breaker. Even if your bathing suit doesn’t smell and still feels like it’s in good condition, a single stain will cause it to be rejected (they may recycle/discard it for you, so it’s still good to bring it in and ask).

You can try to wash the stain out of your bathing suit by running it through a regular wash and adding white vinegar. Do not use bleach as the strong chemicals can ruin the suit.

Not torn or stretched out

Similar to a stain, a torn or stretched out bathing suit gives the impression that it is at the end of its lifespan. Keep in mind that when you are donating something, you are trying to give this item away for another person to wear. If you would not want to wear something in this condition, then don’t donate it either (not that it would get accepted in the first place).

Instead, be kind, compassionate, and make an effort to donate a clean, high quality bathing suit that someone less fortunate would really appreciate. It takes very little effort on your part but can mean the world to someone else.

Parting words

If you have an old bathing suit laying around the house that you want to get rid of, rather than throwing it in the trash, consider donating it to a Goodwill or equivalent organization wherever you live.

While we cannot guarantee that your donation will be accepted, there is a very good chance it will be as long as your item is clean, does not have stains, and is not torn or stretched out.

Donating your bathing suit will also mean less garbage in the landfills, and that someone less fortunate can get your item for cheap or for free.

Those of you who have done a good job taking care of their swimsuits will likely have one in decent condition that could still be used for more trips to the beach, so rather than discarding it before the end of its lifespan, you can donate it so someone else can take advantage of it instead.

Lastly, if you believe in karma or being rewarded for your good deeds, or if charitable giving is its own reward for you, then this is a great way to satisfy those requirements.