Charity Shop

Textile recycling: the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum

As regular readers of this blog will know, we are involved with the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum, looking at ways to promote the very best standards in the textile recycling and rag trade.

I attended the latest meeting of this forum on Wednesday (4 July) in Batley, West Yorkshire. The group discussed a wide range issues for charity retailers engaging with textile traders, including health and safety, employment rights and environmental impact.

Our aim is now to produce a final piece of work which charity retailers large and small can begin to use in the new financial year starting in April 2019. The product will allow traders to become approved or certified in their compliance with charity industry standards, and will allow charity retailers have confidence in the companies they are dealing with.

We will be meeting every two months or so to ensure progress towards this goal.

The meeting was held at Oxfam UK’s waste saver hub, where donations from across the country are collated to supply Oxfam charity ships, Oxfam’s online shop, their operation at music festivals across the UK and projects in Africa. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the amazing facilities and meet with their online sales manager.

The warehouse also recently staged a production of Les Miserables with a professional cast as a tribute to the local MP, and former Oxfam employee, Jo Cox who was murdered two years ago.

All in all, a very interesting and productive day.

Matt Kelcher,
Head of Public Affairs and Research
Charity Retail Association