HOW IT ALL STARTED

It all began when our founders became concerned with the alarming growth of poverty in the UK, noticing that while the UK continues to prosper, the sight of poverty on our streets is becoming more common. For many of us, seeing poverty on our daily commute is a regular occurrence, evoking feelings of upset, guilt and helplessness. It raises an important question of what we can do to support the people affected.

One morning, while I contemplated my sudden lack of purpose that came with retirement, a terrifying thought entered my mind. I began to imagine my very situation, but without any of the luxuries around me or the financial security to help me support myself in the future. I imagined what it would be like to wake up on the street with no money or clothes to my name, no food, shelter and no direction. I knew I needed to help.

As we began to map out the already existing support network for people living in poverty, we quickly realised that while there were organizations that provided people with food and accommodation, there was no support unit providing them with clothing. “Are people simply scraping together what they can find to protect themselves from the elements?”

THE SOLUTION

Did you know that the charity-shop sector is constantly growing? More and more of us are now donating our unwanted clothes instead of throwing them away. Yet there is an increasing number of people who are unable to clothe themselves due to financial reasons. What if there was a way to connect those in need with clothes that already exist?

This is where Clothe Me -Thank You comes in, by putting a mechanism in place that allows them to access stock held at charity shops, while restoring dignity to the individual and giving them the ability to choose their own clothes.

HOW WE GOT HERE

  • We partnered with a number of charity shops in the UK, who would accept vouchers in return for the clothing stock held at their shops. This system is a mutually benefitting one, as it allows them to shift more stock from their stores, generating more revenue for their cause.
  • We then began to work closely with charities such as food banks and shelters, who distribute our vouchers to those who need them the most. This allowed us to reach people in need while allowing our ‘voucher distributing partners’ to gain new ways of supporting their beneficiaries.
  • Individuals who receive our vouchers, can now redeem them at any one of our ‘charity shop partners’ across the country.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Knowing that £90 billion is spent online in the UK each year, we decided to set up fundraising portals which would help us raise money each time a person uses them to shop online.

The concept is simple; by signing up and shopping online as you normally would, you help us raise money to provide clothing to individuals and families in need – all at no additional cost to you. Link to our portals here.

In addition to this and in most cases, where we receive a direct donation from a UK taxpayer, for every £1 we receive, we’re able to collect an additional 25p from Gift Aid. This means that if one of our £10 vouchers is used by someone in need, it only costs us £7.50 to repay the charity, allowing us to use the remaining £2.50 to create more vouchers.

Thank You for Your Kindness