Gap Donates 6 Million Units of Clothing to Refugees and Displaced Families

By McKenzie Carpenter Wednesday, March 10, 2021

In developed countries, items such as clothing are taken for granted as they are readily available. For underdeveloped or developing countries, new clothes are a valuable commodity. The retail company Gap, Inc. announced today that the business is donating 6 million units of clothing to vulnerable refugees and displaced families.

Closeup of a Gap sign.

6 Million Units Donation

Gap is a $10.84 billion retail company and is the largest specialty retailer in the United States (US). The clothing business is the parent company to other retail brands such as Old Navy, Banana Republic, Intermix, Hill City, and Athleta.

Gap announced today that in partnership with the USA for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, the retail company is donating 6 million units of clothing to more than 79.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world. The UNHCR provides emergency items for refugees and displaced people, such as tents, blankets, and sleeping items.

Sally Gilligan, chief information officer and chief strategy officer for the retail business, said:

“At Gap, Inc., we seek to fill the gaps in our world by supporting individuals, families and communities. We believe clothes – and the clothes people wear – can positively impact their lives. We are proud to partner with UNHCR to address the needs of refugees around the world...We will continue to seek out similar opportunities and hope that this innovative partnership unlocks additional opportunities for other brands to help refugees rebuild their lives.”

As part of the apparel donation from the clothing company, 4 million units will go to Burkina Faso, 100,000 winter jackets will go to Lebanon, and 56,000 winter jackets will go to communities in Armenia. The remaining units will be distributed to other vulnerable regions around the world.

Anne-Marie Grey, executive director and CEO of USA for UNHCR, added, “Every day, tens of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes, often with just the clothes on their backs. The magnitude of the refugee crisis reinforces that challenges of such scale require collaboration and innovation...Thanks to the generosity and support of Gap, Inc., we can help deliver protection and assistance to the millions of people who have been forced to flee home due to violence and persecution.”

Other Philanthropic Work

This donation for the retail business is not the first. Brands under the namesake company have made significant clothing donations as well. In June 2020, Banana Republic donated $20 million worth of new clothes to Americans in need. One month prior, Old Navy donated $30 million worth of new clothes to Americans in need as well. Additionally, Gap recently donated 3.5 million masks and face coverings to nonprofit community organizations.

In addition, the company created the Gap for Good initiative. This business initiative focuses on reducing the environmental impact of denim manufacturing. Furthermore, the business has funded over 6,047 research hours for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation since 2015.

About the Author


Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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