Top tips to help you spread the Charity shops zero waste message
Charity shops are a retailing force for good. They create new income for charities, they’re all about affordability and unique purchases, they create great volunteering opportunities, bring a buzz to the High Street and are great for the planet. Really great.
Without charity shops, so many clothes, furniture, bric a brac and books would end up in landfill. According to the Charity Retail Association, 339,000 tonnes of textiles were sent on for reuse and recycling by charity shops in 2018/2019. And according to a recent Government report, we buy more clothes per person in the UK than any other country in Europe . Incredibly, we now buy five times what we bought in the 1980s, according to some estimates. It is shocking that UK citizens discard around a million tonnes of textiles per year. Our fast fashion habits need to change, and your charity shops have an important role in saving the planet.
So what can you do?
Act now! Fashion and supermarket retailers are successfully shouting their green messages, and we must do the same. Pre-loved purchases are a guilt-free and affordable choice. So here are three ways to share the green love:

1. Make some noise!
Plan some eye catching enviro windows, use your social media presence to engage with more customers, and print some posters that communicate facts like those above and these two:
– New clothes bought in the UK produce more carbon emissions per minute than driving a car around the circumference of the Earth six times
– Buying one new white 100 per cent cotton shirt weighing approximately 220g produces the same amount of carbon emissions as driving a car for 35 miles* So conversely, buying one preloved white shirt is the equivalent to saving the carbon emissions from a 35 mile car journey

2. Refresh your objectives and strategy!
Take a look at your existing plans and find opportunities to incorporate sustainability concepts that complement your strategies. At the same time, ask yourselves if there are new environmental and social strategies you can create that will be unique to your charity and that will add value to your messaging and to your retail business.

3. Get involved with like-minded organisations!
Get involved with groups who can help share your messages with theirs to help build your presence in the wider community. You could contact Greenpeace, WRAP or Fashion Revolution, a not-for-profit movement with teams in over 100 countries who campaign for a reform of the fashion industry, focusing on the need for greater transparency in the supply chain. They call themselves “pro-fashion protesters” because they love fashion and want to see it become a force for good. This Fashion Revolution Week, from the 20th to the 26th of April 2020, they’re joining forces with Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) to make the largest fashion swap in history.

[1] European Clothing Action Plan, Used Textile Collection in European Cities (March 2018)

[1] WRAP’s 2016 report “Valuing Our Clothes: The Cost of UK Fashion”