A woman in Bangladesh, who has been helped to start her own tailoring business by the British Red Cross, sits at her sewing maching with clothes she has sown behind her.

© Farzana Hossen/British Red Cross

Fact: almost half of women in the UK admit to owning too many clothes.

We’re calling on everyone to clear out for a good cause, and donate to and buy from our charity shops instead – especially with the exciting launch of our It starts with her appeal this month.

Read on for reasons to shake up your shopping habits and opt for a more sustainable route with us.

You can enjoy a guilt-free wardrobe


Ladies, according to a recent survey,* the majority of you claim to wear less than half of your wardrobe, and a huge 70% of you said you’ve bought a piece of clothing and never worn it. That’s a lot of unworn clothes that could be put to good use.

Even more worryingly, over a third of you admitted the amount of clothes you own makes you feel guilty. It’s time to turn that guilt into something positive. By dropping those unwanted clothes off at one of our charity shops, you’ll feel better knowing they’re going to a good cause.

Pre-loved clothes can help change lives


Two women in Bangladesh stand with their arms around each other. They are among the people being supported through It starts with her.

© Farzana Hossen/British Red Cross

Women’s clothes and accessories donated before 29 February will go towards our incredible It starts with her appeal. Not only that, but through UK Aid Match, every pound spent on women’s clothing will be doubled by the UK government until 31 March. It’s an unmissable opportunity.

Our appeal is about helping women and their communities in Barishal, Bangladesh – one of the most disaster-prone places on earth. We’re supporting women to earn an income, build their savings and raise their voice to help their communities.

We think that’s something worth investing in – and, with your pre-loved clothes, together we can make that happen.

Sustainable shopping is better for the planet


Donating to our shops means less waste for the environment, and we’ve got stats to back it up. Every year, each of our charity shops saves an average of 30 tonnes of textiles from going to landfill and reduces carbon emissions by 7 million tonnes per year.

Have some of your clothes seen better days? Don’t worry – and don’t chuck them in the bin. We can still raise money from any clothes that aren’t in good condition or useable through textile recycling.

Our shops have some pretty great stuff

A woman looks at clothes in a British Red Cross charity shop.

© Jude Shapiro/British Red Cross

Our rails and shelves are stacked with all sorts of pieces, so you’re bound to find something unique that you love – often discounted at a great price.

Not everything in our shops is second-hand, either. Did you know we’ve been working with H&M for ten years now? The high-street brand donates end-of-season clothing items for us to sell within our network of charity shops and save them from going to waste.

We have unique, nationwide shops

Clothes for sale in British Red Cross vintage and designer charity shops.

© Molli Edwards/British Red Cross

We have more than 330 British Red Cross shops across the UK, so you don’t have to go far to find your nearest one. Some even specialise in vintage and designer clothes, like our branches in Newcastle upon Tyne and Belfast.

We hope to see you at a shop soon, whether you’re donating your unwanted clothes or buying second-hand. Either way, if you pop in between January and March, you’ll be supporting our It starts with her appeal.

Remember, every pound spent on donated womenswear items during this time, up to the value of £2m, will be doubled by the UK government through UK Aid Match. With your help, we can support thousands of strong women – and, as a result, their communities – to be even stronger. Find your nearest shop here.

*Online survey of 2,050 UK adult women carried out by Opinium for the British Red Cross between 29 November – 3 December 2019. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Opinium.