Clothes collection businesses mean charities missing out on cash


By Kirsty Topping

The bag has caused concern that it could be mistaken for a charity collection bag

CHARITIES are losing out to firms which sell on donated clothing for profit.

The British Heart Foundation claims it has seen a drop of 25% in textile donations, resulting in an estimated 3 million loss for the charity.

Mike Lucas, retail director for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said he was aware of several commercial companies going door-to-door across the country.

Amongst them is the Clothing Collection Team Ltd, operating out of Dalkeith, Midlothian.

Whilst the company does not claim to be a charity, and supply a leaflet with collection bags which has

“Clothing Collection Team Ltd’ printed at the bottom, there have been concerns raised that the logo and wording of the appeal for clothes could lead to the belief they are from a charity.

The leaflet asks people to

“kindly donate’ unwanted clothing, including shoes, hangbags and lingerie, as well as toys and cosmetics and says the items will

“reach those who do not have the possibility to purchase new footwear and clothing. “

Mike said:

“Companies working for commercial gain are a huge problem for charities. At the BHF we have seen a 25% drop in household collections due to this commercial activity, costing us 3 million – money which could be spent in the fight against heart disease.

“The BHF believes it’s only right householders in the UK are given clear information from collectors about where the proceeds of their goods are going so they can make an informed choice. “

The practice has been happening for a number of years and it’s thought that some of the goods end up being sold for profit in second-hand shops in Eastern Europe.

One resident who received a bag from a commercial company is reported as saying the practice was


The resident, who did not want to be named, said:

“It is really unfair, as it looks so much like a charity bag, and quite a few charities do that in our area.

“It was only when I read the small print that I realized it was a company and I was absolutely raging. It seems just like a charity collection.

“I’d imagine a lot of older people might be taken in by this. When I phoned trading standards they said there was nothing they could do. “

No-one from Clothing Collection Team Ltd was available for comment.


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  1. Whole bunch of bags left in Leith today outside my flat – company claims it is collecting on Thursday – this is shameful as people will believe they are donating to charity.

  2. Was suspicious to start with but I guess now they have went too far, also attached to my bag was a small piece of paper stating ” Reduce Scotland`s CO2 emissions and save taxpayers` money by recycling your MOBILE PHONES and LAPTOPS. Simply put your old MOBILE or LAPTOP into our collection bag and stick this yellow flyer on the bag.”

  3. That’s them in Glasgow now. I fished out some good quality clothing but then noticed something fishy in the similarity in the logo and that of BHF. I am a member of BHF so feel quite angry.

  4. well i must say so many people thing this is rong but end of the day charity starts at home and 99 percent of charities and people running them are making vast profits of it aswell its like scrap metal dealers just people making a living i think people realy need to open there eyes and delve a liitle deeper into so called charities especialy the big well known ones

  5. I received a bag & leaflet this morning …this company are now in the East End of Glasgow. No charity registration number on the leaflet, so therefore nothing from this household will be going into their bag.

  6. We got one of these for collection today. These folk are so shameless that they ask for the bags to be left outside your gate before 8am in any weather. They are obviously too scared to have to see anyone face to face.

  7. They have stole black bags of clothes from my porch twice yesterday we had put a 50inch (broken ) TV in the porch and they stole it one of my neighbours seen 3 guys come out the van at lift it please be very careful if you have anything lying about

  8. They claim to operate under “trading standards guidelines which the very same Trading Standards tell me do not exist! Yet….. Trading standards say they are not breaking any laws. I wonder just what they have to do to be closed down. I understand they are not paying much tax either…. What a surprise, eh! Seems that in this once great country of ours, there are rules for some and rules for others.

  9. Just got a bag through the door. Was pleased as I’m in the middle of a clearout and wasn’t looking forward to carrying it all down to the charity shop. Guess I could use this bag to carry some of it now though. I suppose it is a bit like the old rag-and-bone man but I’d prefer to direct it to charities.

    I did like that they donate £50 a week to “a children’s charity”. Well that’s all right then!

  10. Bags delivered in Dumbarton today never heard of them so thought I would check them out glad I did, bag is in the bin and i’ll pass the word around the neighbourhood they are scammers

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