As its shops across England close their doors for lockdown, the British Red Cross has asked people to channel their spending power into charity shopping online.
The vintage clothes available on ASOS are themed each week, with recent 90s grunge and Halloween collections proving popular with shoppers. The eBay selection is more focused on rare books and collector’s items.
Red Cross shops around the UK help to curate a special edit of pre-loved treasures to be sold via the charity’s online marketplaces, with the proceeds credited back to the shop that received the original donation.
“We love our charity shop community,” says Paul Thompson, director of retail and community fundraising at the British Red Cross. “I hope they realise how powerful their shopping choices are. People who donate to us and buy from us are showing real kindness, as well as making a local, sustainable choice.”
Meanwhile, kind-hearted donors are being asked to keep hold of their bags of clothes until lockdown ends, instead of leaving them on the doorsteps of closed shops.
“Unfortunately, our shops won’t be able to accept new stock during lockdown,” continues Thompson, “so we’re asking people to please keep hold of their donations rather than leave them on our doorsteps where they may be ruined by bad weather or cause a potential fire hazard.
“Our shop teams will really look forward to welcoming people back as soon as we can re-open safely, and we will be very grateful to receive donations then. In the meantime, you can continue to support us by checking out the ASOS and eBay stores, where you can find some of our most interesting pieces.”
The money raised from online charity shopping helps Red Cross teams working to support the most vulnerable people in our communities as we face a second lockdown.
Red Cross volunteers and staff are on the frontline, supporting NHS clinical staff in emergency departments, helping patients get home after a hospital stay and crewing back-up ambulances.
The charity is also supporting people on the doorsteps with food supplies, medicine, emotional wellbeing and financial assistance.
“Times are so tough,” says Thompson, “but at the Red Cross we’re doing everything we can to help people through the various restrictions in their community. Everyone out there has the power to support us in some way.
“Not everyone is in a position to volunteer, fundraise or donate money, but shopping with us or putting by bags of clothes to donate to our shops when we re-open are kind acts that truly help people in crisis. There is so much kindness out there.”