Borders residents are being urged to donate unwanted items of clothing to charity after researchers found that 1.7billion items of clothing were left unworn in the last year – that’s an average of 28 items for every man, woman and child in Britain.
Leading housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland says it hopes that people in Borders will donate unwanted items of clothing to one of their shops to help them in the fight against bad housing and homelessness.
The charity says around 87% of the goods sold in its charity shops are donated by the public but despite this a third of all unwanted clothes – 430,000 tons of them – still end up in landfill.
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “The total cost of unworn clothes is a staggering £30 billion. Even a very small fraction of that could help Shelter Scotland to continue our fight against bad housing and homelessness.
“It costs just £10 for one of our expert advisors to help a family or individual at risk of losing their home – we can raise that money by selling an unwanted jumper or pair shoes. Just £45 is enough to train an advisor to protect children at risk, which could be raised from selling an unwanted winter coat that’s taking up space in someone’s wardrobe.
“We hope that the people of Borders will continue to support Shelter Scotland, because without their help and generosity our fight to end bad housing and homelessness would be so much harder. If every person in the Borders donated just one item to a Shelter Scotland shop it would make a world of difference.
“Our work won’t stop until there’s a home for everyone.”
According to Shelter Scotland the top two reasons for why people donate to charity shops are to help people in need and because it’s a convenient way to get rid of items they no longer need. Nevertheless, stock remains one of the most important issues facing its shops.
According to research by WRAP, the average household spends £1,700 a year on clothes, second only to food and drink expenditure.