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Clothing collections in the media

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Introduction

Most of the items below concern clothing collections.

However, we've included a few items on related issues such as charity shops, and street collections for cash.

Note: See also the page: Articles on collections which mention CharityBags.org.uk

Television


BBC logo

BBC1 - 'Inside Out' - Wednesday 24 September 2008 - 15 minutes

Investigation of unlicensed charity clothing collections - eg by the Children's Welfare Foundation (CWF)


BBC1 - 'Watchdog' - 7pm Wednesday 20 November 2002 - 11 minutes

Investigation of bogus "charity" clothing collections - eg by 'Gotham'

media_bbc_watchdog_bogus_charity_clothing_collections_by_gotham_201102.shtml


BBC2 - 'Mary queen of [charity] shops' - several series in 2008 and 2009

Presented by retail expert Mary Portas.

Ms Portas gave hands-on advice to charity shops in an effort to boost their image and their sales.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8082955.stm  


BBC News - 25 February 2011

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-12577534  

Headed:  "Charities 'losing out' to doorstep collections
A charity says it is losing out on thousands of pounds worth of donations to rag trade collectors."

Extract:  "... Keech Hospice Care said donations to its charity shops had plunged because of increases in house-to-house collections from unscrupulous collectors."

Article includes quotes from British Heart Foundation, Clothes Aid, Charity Commission
(and a link to CharityBags).  It also mentions the Department for Social Development (DSD).


Radio


BBC Radio 4 - 'Face the Facts' - Friday 22 August 2008

Results of an investigation into dubious "charity" clothing collections being made by Planet Aid (in conjunction with Humana and the Tvind Teachers Group (TG))

clothing_collections/clothing_collections_planet_aid_humana_tvind.shtml


Pile of newspapers

National newspapers


'Scam: the A&P leaflet' - clothing collection (our thanks to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper)

Article in The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday 18 November 2007 - by Andrea Perry

'How charity clothes line Lithuanian pockets'

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1569695/How-charity-clothes-line-Lithuanian-pockets.html  

Includes information on :


"The Guardian" newspaper logo (our thanks to the publishers)

The Guardian - Tues 27 January 2004 - Category: News > Society > Voluntary sector
Headed: "Bogus clothes collections 'cost charities £1m' "

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/jan/27/charities.charityfinance...  

With information from:  Association of Charity Shops, Office of Fair Trading, Charity Commission, Advertising Standards Authority


The Guardian - Sat 13 August 2005 - Category: Environment
Headed: "Are clothes collectors breaking the rules?

A company run by Lithuanians has been the subject of complaints but still operates despite growing official concern.  Rupert Jones reports"

www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/aug/13/fairtrade.ethicalliving  

Mainly on Lunetex Ltd.  Also mentions Kraslava Services Seven, Ambertop Ltd


The Guardian - Saturday 4 August 2007 - Money news & features section - page 8
'Capital Letters: Tony Levene fights for your consumer rights'

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/aug/04/moneysupplement3  

First item:  'Is children's charity going from my rags to riches?' :

a) Letter from RA, London - querying a clothing collection leaflet from Children's Welfare Foundation (charity)

b) Response from The Guardian's Tony Levene (seven paragraphs) :


The Guardian - Saturday 18 August 2007 - Category: Money
Headed: "The great charity collection scam

It's a particularly unpleasant crime: posing as a good cause, taking advantage of people's better nature and stealing £3m a year from the genuine charities.  Tony Levene looks at the gangs who are behind the clothing collection rip-off"

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/aug/18/moneysupplement.voluntarysector  


The Guardian - Saturday 25 August 2007 - Money news & features section - page 3

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/aug/25/moneysupplement.voluntarysector  

Extract :

"Charity cheats laid bare - by you
Outraged readers were quick to get in touch after we exposed
bogus collectors who sell donated clothing.  Tony Levene reports

Guardian Money readers have written to us in their thousands after our
exposure last week of the murky world of bogus collectors who deprive
legitimate charities of millions of pounds a year.
Readers also sent us flyers from the bogus firms.  One of the more
outrageous ones came from Support and Help, which asks people to
"spare any of your unwanted clothes which will be sent to the Third World
where the garments will be carefully sorted and worn again".  This . . . "

There follows information on :

Below this, there are 10 letters and emails from readers commenting on the issues.


The Guardian - Monday 3 December 2007 - Category: Money > Charitable giving
Headed: "Charities fight back against bogus collectors" - by Hilary Osborne

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/dec/03/charitablegiving.consumeraffairs...  


The Guardian - Sat 31 January 2009 - Category: Money > Charitable giving
Headed: "Give us your clothes now!

As donations dry up charity shops plead: 'Dig it out, bag it up, drop it off' Hard-up Brits are clearing charity shop shelves while fewer people are willing to donate their cast-offs.  Jill Papworth reveals how charities are desperate for stock"

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/jan/31/charitable-giving-consumer-affairs...  

There are 13 comments below the article.


The Guardian - Sunday 8 February 2009 - Category: Money > Charitable giving
Headed: "Banned 'charity' is out collecting again

Tony Levene on the return of letterbox leaflets from the outlawed Children's Welfare Foundation"

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/feb/08/charitable-giving...  


The Guardian - Tues 26 May 2009
Category: Money > Charitable giving > Money blog - by Hilary Osborne
Headed: "Is it OK to take things from outside a charity shop?

A reader ponders the ethics of taking charity donations that have been left outside"

www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2009/may/26/charity-shop-donations...  

There are 52 comments below the article.


The Guardian - Friday 5 June 2009 - Comment & features section - page 18
Life & style - Fashion

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/05/mary-queen-of-shops-fashion-style  

Extract :

"Not your average charity shop
Retail expert Mary Portas is leading a charity shop revolution: she
wants to make them better for shoppers and for the charities that
run them.  Simon Chilvers meets her - and gets a makeover from
designer Fee Doran in an Oxfam shop    . . . "


The Guardian - Sunday 15 November 2009 - Category: Money > charitable giving
Headed:  "Charities fight over secondhand clothes market

Charities with shops complain about other charities linking up with commercial textile merchants"

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/nov/15/charities-clothes-market  

On the issue of charity shops versus the "X pounds-per-tonne royalty" collectors.

Includes quotes from the Association of Charity Shops (ACS), the Children's Society, NSPCC, Traid, Clothes Aid, the Textile Recycling Association (TRA).

In our opinion this is an excellent article.  Its approach is very similar to the approach we've put forward on the CharityBags website for 10 years.


The Guardian - Tues 21 Sept 2010 - Category: Money > charitable giving
Headed: "Beware scam charity clothing collectors

Charity Commission warns against scam clothing collectors who use logos and registration of genuine charities" - by Colin Shek

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/sep/21/beware-scam-charity-clothing-collectors...  


The Observer newspaper - Sun 30 November 2008 - Cash section - page 19

www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/nov/30/charity-shops-money-finance  

Extract :

"The tills are ringing in the charity shops ... for now
Shoppers are pouring through the doors in the hunt for festive
bargains, but the supply of clothes and bric-a-brac is about to dry
up, writes Peter Davy

                      . . .   As a rule of thumb, volunteer-run website
Charitybags.org.uk reckons that goods in charity shops sell at 15 per cent
of their original price.   . . .

However, the real danger is a shortage of donations   . . .  

             . . . people are misled into thinking the private [clothing] collectors
are charitable - a tendency encouraged by vague references, such as
'helping families in need', in some leaflets used to publicise companies'
collections.   . . .  "

Article includes information about/from:  Oxfam, Association of Charity Shops, Salvation Army, Children's Society, PDSA, Age Concern, British Retail Consortium, Sue Ryder.

Also includes references to house-to-house clothing collections - eg by Clothes Aid.


Daily Mirror - "Penman & Sommerlad Investigate" (=Andrew Penman and Nick Sommerlad)

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/charity/  

Including articles on questionable and/or misleading clothing collections by (A-Z) :

More general articles :

This is a well-written collection of concise, engaging articles, with useful photographs of leaflets etc.  A mine of information.
Also there are hundreds of comments from members of the public in the forums attached.

Quote from the website :

"Andrew Penman and Nick Sommerlad form the Daily Mirror's Investigations team.  They write a weekly column in the Mirror every Thursday and they're here to help uncover the scams, and expose the people behind them.  They won the Cudlipp Award for campaigning popular journalism at the 2010 British Press Awards."


Flag of Scotland 800x480

Evening Times "Scotland's top-selling evening paper" - 21 Feb 2011
'The new Ice Cream Wars'

Article on bogus "charity" recycling bins in Western Scotland

www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/editor-s-picks/the-new-ice-cream-wars-1.1086354  


Local newspapers


Article headed:  "Donating to charity?  Are you certain?  'Be cautious' is council's advice"

media_paper_kosta_bogus_charity_clothing_collection_04.shtml


Magazines


CivilSociety.co.uk - Civil Society Media Ltd - 1 Feb 2011
Headed: "Complaints about bogus clothing collections rise 200 per cent"

www.civilsociety.co.uk/fundraising/news/content/8202/ complaints_about_bogus_clothing_collections_rise_200  

Unofficial figures from the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB)


'Third Sector' logo (our thanks to the publisher)

Third Sector - 26 Oct 2010 (published weekly)
Headed: "Charity doorstep collection market is saturated, says Oxfam report"

www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/Article/1036722/charity-doorstep-collection-market-saturated-says-oxfam-report  

On an internal (unpublished) report produced by Oxfam in May 2010.


Which? logo (our thanks to Which?)

Which? magazine - monthly - by subscription


Which? - News - 2 August 2007 :

"Gangs target charity clothes collections
They steal bags and sell the clothes themselves"

www.which.co.uk/news/2007/08/gangs-target-charity-clothes-collections-118778.jsp  


Which? - News - 23 November 2007 :

"Police slammed over charity bag thefts - Clothes Aid says officers not doing enough
Charity bag collector Clothes Aid has criticised police for the lack of action over the continuing theft of bags from doorsteps."

www.which.co.uk/news/2007/11/police-slammed-over-charity-bag-thefts-125938.jsp  


Which? - News - 3 December 2007 :

"Campaign to highlight charity bag thefts - Government tackles bogus collectors
The government has launched a campaign to help consumers to spot bogus charity clothes collectors."

www.which.co.uk/news/2007/12/campaign-to-highlight-charity-bag-thefts-126529.jsp  


Which? - News - 5 December 2007 :

www.which.co.uk/news/2007/12/charity-bag-snatchers-face-crackdown-127241.jsp  

Extract :

" Charity bag snatchers face crackdown
Taking bags from doorsteps is theft, says CPS

Gangs who target charity doorstep clothes collections may no longer be able to exploit a legal grey area to escape prosecution.

Earlier this year, Which? revealed how bogus collectors were stealing millions of pounds from charities each year by taking bags of donated clothing from doorsteps.

The problem was exacerbated by legal confusion over who owned the bag, as the householder had given away the contents and the charity had yet to pick it up.

Charity owns bag
But new guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in London says items left for collection by a charity become the charity's property as soon as they are put into its bag.

However, the bag must be appropriately marked and clearly belong to the charity.   . . . "


Which? - News - 11 December 2007 :

www.which.co.uk/news/2007/12/bogus-charity-collection-warning-127389.jsp  

Extract :

" Bogus charity collection warning
OFT urges shoppers to be on their guard

A watchdog is warning Christmas shoppers to beware of bogus charity ticket sellers who claim they're raising money for good causes.

The fraudsters are peddling £2 prize draw tickets on UK high streets, promising luxury holidays for the winners.  . . . "


Which? - Advice - Your money  (at October 2009) :

www.which.co.uk/advice/giving-to-charity/street-fundraising/index.jsp  

Extract :

" Giving to charity
Street fundraising

A big issue for charities is whether to use face-to-face or street fundraising, sometimes called (by people who don't like this method) charity mugging or 'chugging'.  This is where a team of people stand on the street and sign passers-by up to give money to charity by direct debit. . . . "

Article includes details of best practice guidelines produced by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA)  


The Internet

Computer mouse (courtesy of SCRAN and James Gardiner)

The Net has a wealth of resources dealing with clothing collections.

There's online information published by the media described above - TV, radio, newspapers and magazines.

Then there's information to be found on the following websites :

See the List of organisations and resources page for details of some of these organisations.