Reusable eco-friendly gift wrap.
A staple of our eco-conscious lifestyle and a beloved part of British life is under threat. Charity shops.
And I really want to talk about it, incite people to do something about it.
Because they are not just an important part of more eco-friendly living, they fund hugely important charitable work that is now under threat. The British Heart Foundation has just commented that they are likely to have to cut HALF of their research programmes. They are the biggest research body that aims to prevent and improve the no. 1 cause of death in the UK - heart and cardiovascular disease. Less funding literally means less work on saving lives. And this is just a small cameo of the whole picture.
Saving charity shops = saving lives.
Saving charity shops = supporting more vulnerable people in our communities.
Saving charity shops = enabling a circular economy that helps the planet.
Saving charity shops = saving an important community hub for people of all walks of life.
This all hit home reading an article by YouGov about the challenges facing charity shops after lockdown ends. The end of lockdown is in no way a return back to normal...and after many months of closure there is a huge income gap to fill.
Essentially - they are likely to have less stock, less traffic to sell it and many of their favourite volunteers and customers won't be comfortable returning.
Many charities are turning to postal or street-side techniques for pick up. But it's not going to be enough.
Now I know the fashion-revolution crowd are incredibly creative and hard working. I wonder if we can't get together with people from the charity retail sector and together trial some innovative ways to help charity shops get on their feet?
Here's a few good initiatives that are already happening. Please do share any other examples you might see.
How can you help?
Right now - if you need something, take a moment to see if you can buy it via your favourite charity's eBay store. Consider, if you could volunteer at your local store - even once a month will help. Raise awareness of how vulnerable these beloved stores are.
Consider - how could you and your community help? Could we hold more pop-up open-air charity markets for example?
How could we help?
We're going to try and do our part to re-use more clothing in our wraps - all from charity sources. Watch this space.