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Clothing collections :
Clothes Aid

Headings on this page :

Clothes Aid - the company

Website:  www.clothesaid.co.uk  

Full name:   Clothes Aid (Services) Ltd
Company no:   04159246
Address:   Essex Road, London N1
Established:   Around 1997

Clothes Aid is the largest and most well-known clothing collection company in the UK.

Their website states :

"Clothes Aid, the UK's leading clothing collection agent - fundraising for charity"

They go on to say xStatistics: :

"We collect clothing donations on behalf of our charity partners all across the UK.  Our experience and hard work has helped us to raise over £1.8 million for UK charities and NHS trusts."    [ Source: Clothes Aid website, 2008 ]

They're not a charity.  They're a commercial company which works with registered charities and NHS Trusts as a commercial partner.

Their collectors on the ground operate as franchises, self-employed.  The company is an Associate Member of the British Franchise Association (BFA)    The entry for Clothes Aid on the BFA website describes them as :

"Professional fundraising organisation and commercial collection of charity clothing donations on behalf of various UK charities."

Well-known businesses which are run as franchises include ANC (couriers), Cash Converters, McDonalds (restaurants) and Prontaprint (print shops).

Clothes Aid - partner charities

See the Clothes Aid entry on the A-Z List of collectors page.

xStatistics:
Proceeds - In some cases, the partner charity receives 75% of the proceeds raised by Clothes Aid.  With the other cases they receive 90%.

Clothes Aid - clothing collections and licensing

Clothes Aid have a reputation for keeping within the law (eg obtaining collection licences from local councils).  They work closely with the government regulators.

All Clothes Aid collection vans are marked with the Clothes Aid logo, their collectors wear a uniform and they carry identification.

Thefts - Clothes Aid experiences serious problems with thefts of their filled bags from doorsteps and streets.  For example see the article of 15 Aug 2006 on the LetsRecycle.com   website.  Often the police have been unwilling to prosecute the thieves.  The company has its own collection protection team (including motorcycle patrols) - which monitors collections and attempts to reduce thefts.  See our page on Thefts of collection bags.

Clothes Aid's website includes a useful section entitled "Collection protection and 'bogus collectors'.  It gives details of how Clothes Aid are working with government regulators in a public awareness initiative (launched December 2007) "to help people check whether a clothing collection is for charity or not".

xStatistics:Central to this initiative was the production by central government of a two-page leaflet entitled "Give with care".  We understand that Clothes Aid have distributed around 500,000 of these to householders.

We've seen programmes on television (eg 'Inside Out' on BBC1, 24 Sept 2008) which look at bogus (and genuine) clothing collections.  The programmes have included interviews with Clothes Aid staff, in which they explain how a reputable collector operates.

Other points

Clothes Aid is a commercial company.  Don't confuse them with registered charities which have similar names - such as 'Christian Aid', 'Action Aid' and 'Water Aid'.