The Best Way To Recycle Your Old Clothing

PET CHECK BLOG - clothing hanging on a rail

\\\ Pet Charity Shops

\\\ updated autumn 2022

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How Do I Donate Clothing To My Favourite Pet Charity?

Where Do I Donate Old Clothing?

Pet charities are very dependent on the generosity of the UK public to survive.

There are more than 11,200 charity shops in the UK, as reported by The Charity Association with 85% of those based in England with around 300 or so dedicated pet charity shops, (2020 statistics).

Many of those including Blue Cross, RSPCA and PDSA, the larger pet charities, are those that operate the pet charity retail shops one finds in our local high streets.

The RSPCA have more than 120 pet charity shops up and down the country, bringing in much needed financial income to help keep up their pet charitable veterinary care and rehoming shelters open to the UK public, while the whole sector is responsible for more than £330 million profit contribution to their parent charities.

The whole charitable retail sector is important not just for providing funds to sections of society but to help stop the millions of unwanted garments and other items reaching landfill. Charity Shops are responsible for saving 339,000 million tonnes of unwanted items arriving in landfill each year and why they are so important to help and promote.

Recent global pandemic events saw many shops close temporarily and people cancelling direct debits to charities whilst they struggled with their own finances. This impacted heavily on all large and small charities including pet charities who depend on the shops income to survive.

Shops started reopening June 2020, mostly in a staggered reopening schedule with various social distancing procedures put in place for those who wanted to shop. This continued after the longer Winter-Spring lockdown, 2021. However, some shops have had to be axed due to becoming financially not viable and the continuing global financial and energy crisis means even more are likely to close during 2022-2023, so it’s essential that we support them even more.

Pet charity shops have issued helpful guidelines to their supporters on what donations they could receive with stricter guidelines due to the pandemic needs.

Some shops will take all manner of things while others specialise. Whether it’s last years wedding outfit, designer-label clothing, bric-brac, books, jewellery, they need your support more than ever, and they don’t turn away pet-related beds, dog coats, collars, leads, bowls.

Before you drive fully laden with goodies, it’s important to take some advice about donating your goods from your local pet charity shop.

How Pet Charities like to receive their donations?

1. Cleaning your pre-loved items is a must, before donating. This helps the charity shop to process items more quickly and raises much more money for them.

2. Charities take a wide range of items, others now specialise. You can call ahead and ask if they take electricals or perhaps, out of season clothing such as ski wear, to avoid a wasted journey.

3. You can donate your old household textiles as well as fashion clothing. If you consider your clothing and textiles cannot be re-sold, pre-sort these from the good clothing and textiles into a separate bag and mark accordingly. Clothing and textiles that cannot be sold are recycled where there are numerous large specialised firms that pick up these items from the charities on a regular basis and the charities are paid a modest amount generally by the bag full collected.

These firms can convert them into recycled textiles and those items that simply haven’t sold in shops may be sorted and sent to another country, such as those in Eastern Europe or Africa.

4. Other items that you wish to dispose of that are no longer usable and that charity shops cannot sell, can also be recycled in the usual way by checking your local council recycling website on how to correctly dispose of. There will be a list of drop off points available.

5. Before arriving at your local store with donations, it’s wise to call and check that they are open and can take large donations. Some shops may not operate a six day working week and staffed with volunteers working limited hours. They may ask you to wait a day or so and prepare space in their sorting area for your donation of goods if you have many bags, or ask you to stagger your drop-offs to help with their processing.

6. Charity shops are grateful to receive brand new items, the more the better. If you have new quality goods then point this out to the store labelling the contents of the bag, as they will make sure they sort these quickly for selling.

7. If you have not already signed up in-store, and a UK taxpayer, ask for their “Gift Aid” form which requires very little information from you. Charities benefit from tax concessions under UK tax law. Gift Aid increases the value of donations by 25%, meaning more money goes to your favourite charity.

Charity shops need your help more than ever with better than ever quality donations. Join the many thousands of Pet Check readers today who have donated so generously.

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How Do I Get In Touch?

You can contact the Charity Retail Association and find out where your local shops are in the UK. Not all Charities are signed up as members.

Use Yell.com to search for your nearest other stores

Find your local PDSA shop

Find your local RSPCA shop

Find your local Blue Cross shop

Raising Funds For Your Local Pet Charity

You may not have your favourite pet charity shop located near to your home so alternatively you can raise funds by offering good quality garments for sale on auction websites such as eBay for Charity, Depop, Etsy, Vinted, Facebook and donate the funds collected to your nominated charity.

    Amount charity shops save councils in waste disposal chargesAt least £31 million each year by diverting 339,000 tonnes of textiles away from landfill or incineration according to WRAP

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