The Textile Recycling Association (TRA) has re-launched the specification for when its members buy clothing that is donated to charities but will not be sold in their shops.
The Charity Shop Grade specification was launched in 2002 but the TRA says that, with values dropping by around 40% since the beginning of the year, established collectors have become increasingly selective about what items they are prepared to take from charity shops and how they should be presented.
Director Alan Wheeler said: “Very difficult market conditions have made it necessary for used clothing collectors to reduce the prices that they can pay charity shops and be more selective about the items they take.
“They can no longer pay high prices for low quality items. The revised specifications (see file, right) should help them to negotiate favourable terms and ensure that they get a price that is commensurate with the market prices quoted by recycling trade press publications [such as MRW].”
Charities are also being reminded by the TRA of its members’ code of practice which covers collections from charity shops among other forms of collection.
Included in the code is a recommendation that TRA members carry calibrated scales in their collection vehicles. This enables shop staff to verify the weights collected and helps the charity fulfil legal obligations under weights and measures regulations.
Referring to a survey of charity shops that indicated 25% of respondents still receive payments for charity shop grade clothing based on a price per bag, the TRA recommends charities should negotiate only a price per kilo for all their used clothing.