A popular Kenilworth charity shop has urged locals to be ruthless with their unused rags after new figures sparked a nationwide drive for clothing donations.
New polling from disability equality charity Scope suggests that there are 1.5 billion items of unworn clothing and footwear taking up wardrobe space throughout the UK, with the average West Midlands adult hoarding 26 pairs of trainers, trousers or tops that could generate crucial funds to support the disabled community.
The research reveals that people from the West Midlands have an average of seven unworn tops in their wardrobes while 29 per cent have more than five unused pairs of footwear.
The statistics, which combine ONS figures with Scope’s own research, come as charity launches its National Stock Campaign, #ShareTheScope, to encourage the UK public to clear out their cupboards and donate their pre-loved garments to branches across the country.
The campaign calls for people to dig out any items that they know they’ll never wear again and donate them to Scope so they can go to a new home. The charity estimates that every bag of donations is worth £20.
Scope has been operating in Kenilworth for 25 years, including 12 years at its current site at Talisman Shopping Centre. Its services range from a helpline, an online community, support to work programmes and, support services for families with disabled children.
Ruth Blazye, Executive Director of Retail and Communities at Scope, said: “We’re asking the public to have a rummage through their wardrobes and pull out anything they’ve fallen out of love with. Be ruthless, you’ll love the space you get back and our shops will make sure they find a good home once more.
“Your donations are essential to Scope, they allow us to provide vital support services for disabled people and their families. 150,000 bags of your pre-loved donations can help us run all our family, employment and information and advice services for a year.
“Whilst you’re dropping your bags off to your local Scope shop, you could always do a spot of treasure hunting in the shop too, there’s always a hidden gem to be found.”
Hugo Hawkings, chief executive of Discovery Properties – the developers of Talisman Shopping centre – added: “This is a fantastic and worthwhile initiative from Scope that many of us can get behind by putting our ignored and forgotten items to good use in raising funds to support people with disabilities and their families.
“This is an opportunity to support a cause that has been operating in Kenilworth for more than 25 years, and it would be great to see people in the local area giving what they can.”
Scope charity shops’ ten tips to help with a cupboard clear out
- The three-year rule. If you’ve not worn it in three years, time to donate it.
- If it looks better on your son or daughter than it does on you, you know it’s time to let it go.
- One hit wonder styles tend not to make a comeback (the puffball tried hard recently, but thankfully failed). It’s highly unlikely you’ll ever wear it again.
- Will you be able to drop three sizes to fit into that item you bought in hope or without trying it on? Probably not, but it will fit someone else.
- If donating cash to a charity is a bit of a stretch for you, your old clothes can help raise money for Scope instead.
- Do you even like this item of clothing anymore? Be honest with yourself and part ways.
- Have you made changes in your lifestyle or work? Is that outfit useful anymore? If not, time to give it a new home.
- Being sustainably-conscious will make you feel good and give you valuable space back in your wardrobe. Give your garments the chance to live on with someone else and help save the environment.
- Don’t have your clear out when you’re in a bad mood. As the saying goes, “act in haste, repent at leisure.”
- Finally, don’t feel bad about giving away that novelty jumper Auntie Maureen bought you for Christmas. Instead of it languishing at the back of your wardrobe, let it go, it could make a perfect Secret Santa gift for someone.