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Clothes collection caution
Tuesday 18th November, 2008

Consumer watchdogs with Wigan Council are urging residents to be cautious when considering donating clothes to a collection which claims to be for a ‘third world clothing appeal’.

The council’s Trading Standards team has received a number of calls from members of the public in the borough who have received leaflets through their doors from a company called Valewall Ltd.

The leaflet, which was most recently delivered to homes in the Holden Road area of Leigh, asks residents to donate items of clothing, blankets, belts towels and underwear. The leaflet asks householders to leave the clothes outside their doors ready for collection and claims: your donations are sent to third world countries to help clothe the poor.

It goes on to say: We will carefully sort out your clothes and make them available in second hand shops across the third world.

Wigan Council’s Chief Trading Standards Officer Julie Middlehurst says: “The leaflet includes a registered company number and a phone number but checks have revealed that Valewall has been dissolved as a company. Also we have called the number and it does not appear to be in use.”

Julie adds: “Whilst technically they are doing nothing wrong, people could think that they are donating their clothes to a charity and this does not appear to be the case.

“We have had cases in the past where companies are in fact selling the clothes they collect on and making a profit from them rather than donating them to people in need.”

The advice from Trading Standards is simple – if you want your clothes to go to a good cause, do it yourself.

Julie says: “There are plenty of worthy causes and charity shops in our own borough that welcome good quality unwanted items and you know with these that if they sell them the money raised will go directly towards the charity.

“If you chose the charity you wish to support then you can gracefully turn anyone else down secure in the knowledge that you’re doing your bit to help something you believe in.”

  • Anyone with concerns about charity collections can call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 (calls charged at local rate).

  • You can check if a company or organisation is a genuine charity through the Charity Commission’s website – www.charity-commission.gov.uk or by calling 0845 3000 218.


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