A commercial company that operates door-to-door collections of second-hand clothes, claiming the garments will benefit the poor in Eastern European countries, has been back in the Three Towns over the past week.
The company – Second Hand Ltd – previously distributed fliers that looked like those used by charities, but has now changed its approach and is leaving sealed plastic envelopes which even-more-closely mimic those used by organisations like Breast Cancer UK. The Second Hand Ltd envelopes contain a bag, into which it asks householders to put clothes, blankets, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, toiletries and perfumes.
Despite the company making clear it not a charity, Second Hand Ltd gives the impression that any donations of clothes will be given to the needy when, in fact, they are sold in Eastern European markets with all profits retained by the firm.
The website listed for Second Hand Ltd consist of just one page, which displays an “under construction” image, while the company’s address, as listed in Companies House records, is currently being advertised as a ‘Nail Studio’.
UK charities estimate commercial companies who mimic their collection methods are costing genuine good causes millions-of-pounds every year.