Womenswear eCommerce pureplay Oh Polly has become the first retailer to join The Salvation Army’s new digital charity donation scheme, The Online Clothing Bank.
Powered by the charity alongside returns management technology company, Rebound, the scheme enables consumers to donate unwanted items to charity instead of returning them to the retailer.
Oh Polly’s respective swimwear and active lines, Neena Swim and Bo+Tee, are also participating in the digital charity donation partnership, which has been launched to help combat the ‘throwaway fashion’ crisis that sees hundreds of thousands of tonnes of textiles sent to landfill each year.
The companies involved said the Online Clothing Bank offers “a fresh pipeline of stock just as charity shops most need it”, following a tumultuous pandemic period when many not-for-profit organisations battled to survive.
Retailers can sign up to the digital charity donation scheme for free, adding the option into their own websites with the logistics handled entirely by Rebound. Oh Polly, Neena Swim and Bo+Tee will reward their customers by exchanging all donations for a discount on their next order, in a move that aims to encourage more circular thinking.
Shoppers donating items will receive a free packaging label to attach to their parcel and send directly to the Salvation Army.
Alix McShane, head of customer service at Oh Polly, said: “This is the time of year when many customers start to make space in their wardrobes and this initiative offers a convenient way to clear out old clothing for the season ahead, provide vital support to charity and do their bit for a happier, healthier planet.
“Our shoppers are all too aware of the harmful impact that throwaway fashion has on the environment so we’ll be encouraging all Oh Polly customers to bank rather than bin unwanted clothing.”
Kirk Bradley, The Salvation Army’s head of corporate partnerships, said the scheme will help the organisation’s recovery after “a difficult 18 months”.
“The temporary closure of our shops due to the lockdowns has meant millions of pounds in lost revenues and potential funds which go directly to The Salvation Army, and whose frontline services have supported the community throughout the pandemic,” he commented.
Emily Cotterill, head of sustainability at Rebound, noted: “The Online Clothing Bank is the next step towards a more sustainable, circular retail economy to benefit consumers, retailers and, most importantly, good causes.
“We’re calling on all retailers and brands to take part and return the charity sector to full strength after a devastating 18 months.”
[Image credit: Rebound]