By Kirsty Topping
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. “
“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.