Donating clothes to support charity is nothing new – but what happens when your wardrobe is stocked with luxury clothes that cost hundreds, even thousands of pounds per item and are not being worn? How can we inspire these items out of wardrobes and working for your cause? Isla D’Aubigny, founder of Fashion for Change, has some ideas in this guest blog.
Some of the common concerns you may have when thinking about donating your designer and luxury clothes could be: “My designer clothes will be sold cheap if I donate them to charity and therefore their value is 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”.
To best address these concerns I recommend you choose an online platform when donating luxury garments and accessories so that maximum funds can be raised in the following ways:
- By using an online platform you can choose the charity you would like to donate to, as opposed to which charity shop is in your local area. For example you can register your donation request online and check the options available for your donation based on your charity of choice.
- Donating your garments online enables them to be viewed by a larger audience of consumers who can browse all high-end charity clothing in one place with the ability to filter by their chosen charity. In addition, more and more fashion savvy individuals are looking to purchase from a rapidly growing second hand marketplace. A Love Your Clothes 2012 survey found that there is a willingness amongst consumers to wear more second hand items, especially if a better range is available; these include wider choices in terms of size, colour, brands and price.
- Choose a site that specialises only in luxury designer garments and accessories, so you can ensure that your items are evaluated by experienced resellers who understand brands and consumer demand. 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, an online platform such as www.fashionforchange.boutique would sell the same suit for £100, of which up to £100 would go to charity. What’s more the buyers are all looking for quality items and therefore expect to pay a fair price, this tends to be an amount between a quarter and a third of its original price.
- If your garment is particularly special, such as an evening dress or a vintage item, you can sell the item via an auction format to secure its maximum bid.
- Lastly, using an online platform can provide you with the visibility to see how much you raise and the difference you make, what’s more you can then inspire others to do the same.
“As a Social Enterprise our aim is to increase luxury donations to reduce the environmental impact of clothing production and waste by making recycling hassle free and enabling consumers to access high quality, longer lasting fashion at reduced costs” Isla D’Aubigny – Founder
Find out more about the Fashion for Change campaign