Fundraising at the drop of a hat, coat or little black dress

Donating clothes to support charity is nothing new – but what happens when a person’s wardrobe is stocked with luxury clothes that cost hundreds, even thousands, of pounds per item and have hardly ever been worn?

Our online charity boutique, offers a new way to donate and buy luxury clothes by enabling donors to choose the charity or project that they support, see what they have raised and the impact they have made.

Currently, we are the only UK website that allows fashion-conscious and environmentally-concerned consumers to browse all high-end charity clothing in one place with the ability to filter by their chosen charity.

As a Social Enterprise our impact goal is to dramatically increase the amounts of luxury garments donated to charities by removing the barriers to luxury clothing donations, in particular “My designer clothes will be sold cheap if I donate them to charity and therefore their value wasted”, “I never have the time to drop my clothes off at a charity shop”, “The charity I support don’t have a shop I can drop them off at”, “I am not sure how much I will raise or where the money will go”.

One of the main ways we can inspire further donations is by increasing the value of luxury garments and reducing individual charity retail costs. By sharing an online platform with charities we can reduce individual charity overheads and increase the sale value of their luxury garments by specialises in luxury. For example, we have found that a designer suit in a typical charity shop is likely to be sold for £20, of which as little as *£4 (20%) would be retained by the charity. In contrast, Fashion for Change would sell the same suit for £100, of which up to £100 would go to charity. 

*The Charity Retail Association claims that 60-80% of a charity shop’s income goes on rent, wages (minimum of a dedicated shop manager) and other overheads.

By removing the barriers we aim to inspire an estimated 400 million pounds worth of luxury garments being unworn, out of wardrobes and start working for their donors cause. To estimate the potential volume of clothing we have found some useful statistics from The British Heart foundation research, which found that women typically harbour 16 items of clothing have not been worn for over a year, most commonly because it no longer fits.  If we take an average size donation of 10 luxury items a year to charity, this would result in 4 million items available for donation.

In addition, more and more fashion savvy individuals are looking to purchase from a rapidly growing second hand marketplace. A recent WRAP 2013 survey found that there is a willingness amongst consumers to wear more of second hand items, especially if a better range were available, these include wider choices in terms of size, colour, brands and price. Through our online catalogue we are able to meet this growing demand for high quality second-hand clothing with a targeted online stock within 3 years of over 50,000 luxury items.

Through increasing luxury donations we can reduce the environmental impact of clothing production and waste by making recycling simple and hassle free whilst enabling consumers to access high quality, longer lasting fashion at reduced costs.

“I've been trying to figure out for years how to make the most out of my old designer clothes. Until now, it was either donating to a charity shop, which might raise £20 for a Ralph Lauren gown, or leaving in the hands of a consignment shop, which can't sell at proportionate prices and then takes 50 per cent off the top. Fashion for Change has been such a wonderful discovery. The perfect platform for exactly this situation. Everyone wins.”  Gillian Anderson – Actress who raised over £13,000 from her everyday wardrobe for her charity SA-YES

Fashion for change’s aim is to provide a dedicated website solely for clothes donated to charity allowing charities to re-sell their donated clothes with reduced individual overheads; and increase the funds they receive from luxury clothes donations. Isla D’Aubigny – Founder

Register your clothes donation today 

By Isla D'Aubigny | Thursday 2 March 2017