Please read on for the most frequently asked questions about Clothes Aid. This is an ever-expanding source of information for the public, and when we get asked a question which isn’t answered below, we will add it to the page. If your question is not answered below please contact the helpline team by the contact form, or get in touch using the following methods:


Telephone: 020 7288 8545 (open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm)

Social Media

Twitter: @ClothesAid

Instagram: @clothesaidservices

Facebook: /Clothes Aid

The quickest way to get in touch is calling our helpline. We endeavour to respond as quickly as possible to all queries from our contact form, email and social media, and most queries are dealt with on the same working day. During busy periods we may respond on the next working day.


What can I donate?
We love to see high street and designer women’s, men’s, babies and children’s clothing, outerwear, underwear, pairs of shoes (tied together), accessories including hats, belts and bags, put in Clothes Aid bags. These items, in good, wearable condition, means we can achieve a premium resale price for our partner charities. Besides clothing, we also collect the following items of household goods and bric-a-brac:

Sports equipment
Ornaments and trinkets
Children’s toys and games
Paired curtains
Duvet covers and pillow cases
Mobile phones and tablets
CDs and DVDs
Pots and pans
Digital cameras
Stationery and notepads
Paintings and antiques
Hand tools
Cutlery and crockery
Board games
Bath mats
Pet accessories
Household linen

What can't I donate?
We only sell and export quality textiles, accessories and household bric-a-brac. Unfortunately, we don’t deal in textile rag resale or export bulky items, so we are unable to collect damaged, ripped or broken items, plus carpets, furniture and soft toys. We also cannot take school or work uniforms with emblems or logos. Some examples of items we do not collect include:

Beds (of any size)
Christmas trees
Used duvets or pillows
TV sets or monitors
Hazardous liquids
White goods (such as fridges, freezers or cookers)
Large electrical items
VHS tapes
Vacuum cleaners
Mothers-in-law (and yes, we’ve been asked!)

I’ve accidentally donated something to Clothes Aid – can I get it back?
Although there have been examples in the past where we have reunited members of the public with their possessions, it is generally not possible to return items donated to Clothes Aid. Each of our warehouses collect as much as 50 tonnes of clothing every week (approximately 10,000 filled donation bags) and these donations are stored in our warehouses for just a few days before being exported.

Due to the large volume of donations we receive at Clothes Aid, we do not have the capacity to check in every bag. If you have noticed that you have mistakenly donated an item to us, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 as soon as you can, and provide details of the item, your full address, and when it was donated. Our helpline and operations staff will do their best to recover any accidentally donated items, but we cannot guarantee that your donation will be found.


When do you collect?

If you are filling a Clothes Aid bag you received through your door, the collection day will be printed on the outer sleeve, which is usually two or three days after we’ve delivered it.

Collection times are from 7am up until 2pm, so to ensure your bag is collected, please leave it in clear sight of the road by 7am. Please avoid leaving bags out overnight to prevent damage or theft.

Sadly, we do not collect on the same day every week. If you think that you have had a Clothes Aid bag for longer than a few days, but still wish to donate, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 and we can check to see if there is a collection team still in your area.

When are you next collecting in my area?

We typically visit areas every 4-8 weeks, although this can vary. If you would like to know about the next collection in your area, get in touch via the contact form, call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or email with your full address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number.

Do you collect on the same weekday every week?

Our teams are busy collecting clothing all over the UK and are only in the same area to collect donations a few days after the Clothes Aid bag was posted through your door.

If you have had a bag for longer than a few days, or are unsure how long you have had the bag, please get in touch via the contact form, call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or email with your full address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number.

We will be able to advise whether a new collection date is possible, or if you’ll need to wait for the next time a Clothes Aid team is in your area.

I need help with carrying my donations to the roadside, can the collection team knock on my door?

Yes, we can. If you do wish for a collection team to knock on your door, call our helpline team on 020 7288 8545, email or fill in our contact form online.

If you do need help with large donations, we always advise contacting us in advance of the collection day printed on the bag.

Do Clothes Aid make collections outside of ‘normal’ hours?

Our collection drivers live in the same cities, towns and villages as you do. You may see them in your neighbourhood making bespoke collections at weekends or coming back to pick up missed or additional bags in the evening. If they see a lonely Clothes Aid bag waiting for collection, they will collect it.

If you have any cause for concern, please contact our helpline on 020 7288 8545.

Will you accept donations in my own bags?

We welcome additional donations in any type of bag. If we can see from the roadside that there is one of our charity bags alongside the plain bags or bin liners, we will collect them.

If possible, please try and label any additional bags for “Clothes Aid”, to avoid them being mistakenly taken by other organisations.

Can I organise an individual collection?

If you have a few bags of clothing, accessories or bric-a-brac to donate at any one time, please get in touch via the helpline on 020 7288 8545, email or fill in the contact form with your full address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number, and we’ll arrange a collection with you.

My bag wasn’t collected, what can I do?

Please get in touch with us, and we’ll get our operations team to jump(er) to it and collect your donation. We do strive to make every collection, because a lonely bag outside your house could be better used raising vital funds for our partner charities. If we’ve missed your bag, we’re just as upset about it as you are!

A small percentage of bags do get accidentally missed from time to time and often it’s because the bag is out of view from the road for the collection driver. If your bag has not been collected, please call the helpline on 020 7288 8545 or let us know via the contact form with your full address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number, and we will arrange for it to be collected as soon as possible.

My donation has just been missed, are you able to send a text to the driver?

Our collection teams spend their day driving around the areas where they have previously distributed bags, and it may not be safe, practical or economical to disturb their collection duties.

Besides being illegal, texting at the wheel (or using a mobile phone) is extremely dangerous and we regularly remind our drivers to not do so.

The collection vans pass through each area at least twice over the course of the day, but if your bags have been missed, please accept our apologies, and let us know via our helpline on 020 7288 8545, via email at or the contact form with your full address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number. We will contact you to arrange for it to be collected as soon as possible.

How can I get my workplace / child’s school involved?

It’s simple, get in touch via the contact form or call 020 7288 8545 and we can help you on your way to doing something good for charity, your community group or school, as well as the planet.

Green Flag Award credits and highly competitive rates (up to £500 per tonne) for one-off school collections can be yours!

What happens to the clothes which are collected?

Once they have been donated by the public, the clothes are taken to one of Clothes Aid’s warehouses to be weighed, so that we can work out how much money to pass onto our partner charities.

They are then exported throughout Europe (in countries such as Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine, amongst others), to retail shops where people love British fashion. In 2017, we made a short animation about the journey your preloved items of clothing take. Watch our #ClothingStory video below.

Distribution of charity bags

How often do you deliver bags?

We typically deliver one charity bag every 4-8 weeks. Here at Clothes Aid, we work closely with local authorities to ensure that we are not bombarding the public with collection bags, as we know it can be a bugbear.

Can you post out extra bags to me?

Because of the postage costs involved, we do not post extra bags to households who request them. We’re trying to raise money for our partner charities, and stamps are getting increasingly expensive. We hope you understand.

I’ve never received a charity bag through my door, can I still donate?

If we haven’t distributed in your area it’s likely to be that our nearest team to you can’t service your area on a regularly basis.

However, we do have teams across the UK and can cover most areas, so do get in touch via the contact form with your full address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number and we’ll do our best to arrange an individual collection for you.

I have a “No Junk Mail” sign on my door, why have I received a Clothes Aid bag?

We understand that the attitudes around charity fundraising are delicate and highly emotive, and there may be perfectly good reasons why members of the UK public consider charity collection bags to be junk mail.

At Clothes Aid we are thankful for the clothing donations the UK provides and how unloved clothes provide fantastic support to the worthwhile charities we are partnered with.

However, some households love the free and convenient clearance service we offer and are happy to jump(er) on it for charity, but we wanted to be sure. So, in March 2016, Clothes Aid and YouGov conducted a survey about Great Britain’s attitudes to junk mail and receiving our collection bags.

The results found that almost 60% of households with a “No Junk Mail” sign on their house, have either donated used clothing, or agreed that they would donate used clothing to Clothes Aid if a bag was posted through their door.

Our partner charities are hugely thankful for the zero-investment method of fundraising, and we try to maximise the funds we raise for them – but if you don’t want any further Clothes Aid collection bags, please get in touch with us via our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or use the contact form and we will add your address to our internal suppression list.


Who are Clothes Aid?

Well since you asked, please allow us to introduce ourselves…

We’re Clothes Aid, the largest charity clothing company in the UK. We’re a social business motivated by our cause and not by our bottom line. Going strong since 1996, we’re proud to have raised over £14 million for some of the UK’s most loved and respected charities.

What we offer is simple – clothing collection from your doorstep. We deliver a collection bag through your door, then pick up your donation a few days later. It’s a great way of supporting charities without giving cash or signing up for a direct debit, and with over 300,0001 tonnes of textiles thrown away in the UK every year, the environmental benefits are plain to see.

Here at Clothes Aid we pride ourselves on being fully transparent and follow industry guidance and best practice. The future of fundraising is an issue that is important to us, which is why we’ve paid the necessary levies to join the Fundraising Regulator, the Institute of Fundraising (IoF). Being members of the Fundraising Regulator, we follow the Code of Fundraising Practice without exception. We are also governed by UK fundraising regulations concerning licensing and charity acts and by UK Charity Commission regulations concerning the collection and sale of used clothing.

Please feel free to read more on the history of Clothes Aid or find out more about our fantastic industry partners and partner charities.

1 WRAP, Valuing our Clothes report, 2017. (Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external links)

Who do Clothes Aid collect for?

We’re proud to collect for a wide variety of worthwhile national and regional charities in the UK.


Age UK Hertfordshire


Bradley Lowery Foundation


Cancer Support UK


Children’s Air Ambulance


Children’s Hospices Across Scotland

Are Clothes Aid committed to responsible fundraising?

Absolutely. Here at Clothes Aid we are proud to be registered with the new Fundraising Regulator, which replaced the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) in July 2016. We are also members of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), listed as a commercial participator and we are committed to the guiding principles of fundraising.

The future of fundraising is an issue that is important to us, which is why we’ve paid the necessary levies to join these industry bodies.

We’re also proud to work with organizations such as Waste Resources Action Plan (WRAP), Love Your Clothes, Textile Recycling Association (TRA) and the British Franchise Association (BFA) to promote best practice within the clothing recycling sector.

Do the collections cost the charity anything?

Quite simply, no. We give charities without high street shops an opportunity to financially benefit from the generous donations that we collect, on a zero investment basis. Our partner charities don’t give us a single penny, so every pound they receive from us is a bonus for their cause. So far with the Great British public’s support, we’ve contributed over £14 million to our charity partners, averaging over £1 million a year.

How can I tell if a bag is for a real charity?

All Clothes Aid collection bags in the United Kingdom proudly carry the “Registered with Fundraising Regulator” circle and the “Institute of Fundraising (IoF).”

We have paid the necessary levies to register with these important industry bodies because we are committed to fundraising best practice and maintaining transparency in the charity sector.

On all genuine charity bags (such as ours), a Notifiable Solicitation Statement (for a full explanation, please see the glossary below) is included to inform you of the annual amount that is promised to the charity. We also state the amount per tonne of clothing and goods collected that they will receive. This information is also available on the page of each of our partner charities.

Our advice here is simple – if a charity bag is poorly produced, isn’t compliant with the latest Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidance (see the section about this below) or doesn’t include the Notifiable Solicitation Statement about how much money is going to the charity, then it’s probably a bogus collector.

It’s important that the public isn’t put off donating their clothing, but they should check about where their donations are going and help stamp out bogus collections who are depriving genuine charities of vital funds.

For further guidance, please visit our collection protection page for extra tips and what to look out for regarding legitimate charity bags.

If you have received a collection bag and aren’t sure whether it is genuine, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or email Our helpline team may ask for pictures of the bag and the date you received it – this information will help our collection protection team combat bogus collections.

Are the local authorities aware of your collections in my area?

On behalf of our partner charities, we are legally obliged to obtain in advance House to House Collections Licences from each council area we plan to enter. Even when a major charity partner has a National Exemption Order, we give 28 days written notice as a courtesy to the local authority ahead of entering any area because we want to help prevent householders being inundated with charity requests, which we know can be a bugbear.

See our glossary of clothes collection terms below for further explanations on licensing.

I’ve read about changes to the regulations when advertising on charity collection bags. Does this affect Clothes Aid?

In March 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) issued new guidance for companies responsible for house-to-house charitable collection bags to ensure they are upfront and clear with consumers about the nature of the service they provide.

We welcome this guidance being strengthened and we hope that it will force other bogus collectors to either improve their standards and become legitimate operations (facing the same issues we face at Clothes Aid) or cease operating. After consulting with our partner charities and the Advertising Standards Authority, we are confident that all Clothes Aid bags are compliant with the updated guidance. Our bags;

  • Sufficiently make clear the commercial nature of our business.
  • Have a clear Notifiable Solicitation Statement printed on both sides of the outer collection packet.
  • Display the Clothes Aid logo and the logos of our partner charities with equal prominence, on both sides of the outer collection packet.
  • Clearly display our contact details (helpline telephone number, website address and social media information).

There is more information about these changes on the ASA website:
New Guidance for door-to-door charity collection bag companies
Charitable door-to-door collection bags: CAP guidance for commercial participants
(Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external websites.)

I’d like to read more about the fundraising laws and regulations in the UK, where can I find them?

We welcome people taking the time to find out about the fundraising laws that we are committed to as levy-paying members of the Fundraising Regulator and Institute of Fundraising (IoF).

It will be the least exciting thing you’ll read on the internet today, but with fair warning we have compiled the links anyway;

House to House Collections Act (1939)
House to House Collections Regulations (1947)
Charities Act (1992)
Charities Act (2006)
Code of Fundraising Practice v1.5 (October 2017)
(Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external websites.)

Suspicious collections

Who shall I call, I have just seen an unmarked van take my bag?

If one of our bags has been collected by someone you believe is suspicious, or you have seen an unmarked van collecting our charity bags in your neighbourhood, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 and we can confirm if our teams are currently in the area or not.

If possible, please try and make a note of any vehicle registrations you see, as this will help us with any investigations.

Clothes Aid is committed to tackling theft of our bags and the bogus operations who do so. We consider stealing clothing donations as effectively stealing from our partner charities and it’s something we want to see come to an end. Since 2006, our collection protection team have worked with local authorities, regional and national police forces and trading standards to combat theft of clothing donations and our work has led to hundreds of arrests and the recovery of stolen donations.

I’ve seen lots of stories in my local papers about bogus collectors, is it safe to donate?

It is totally safe to donate to Clothes Aid.

Our collections are fully licensed, our staff have been thoroughly checked and vetted and as members of the Fundraising Regulator and Institute of Fundraising (IoF), we are proud to be a leading figure in the clothing collection sector and a beacon of best practice.

Our collection protection team are working tirelessly to stop bogus collections and their work has resulted in successful prosecutions, but we need the support of organisations such as trading standards, local authorities and regional police forces to stamp out bogus collections for good. We constantly call on these groups to act when we discover that there are bogus operators in an area, collecting donations without applying for the correct licences, or worse still, stealing donations intended for genuine charities.

It’s true, there is a lot of negative articles written about charity clothes collection bags in regional and national newspapers and it can seem like the issue is pandemic.

We think that it is important that journalists write about this topic (we have worked closely with several regional and national publications) but do so in a fair, balanced and accurate way.

Rather than tarnishing all charity collections as fraudulent, point out that there are good companies – like Clothes Aid – who are striving to eradicate bogus collectors from the sector and ensure that public donations reach their intended destination, the charities they work for.

It’s vitally important that the good will and charitable spirit of the public in Great Britain and Ireland is maintained and we hope that the media coverage does not put people off donating. Our advice is that we always urge the public to be vigilant when it comes to donating but please continue to do so, our partner charities need your support.

I have received a suspicious leaflet or clothes collection bag, what should I do?

If you have received what you think is a suspicious leaflet or clothes collection bag, don’t hesitate or ignore it, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or to help us stamp out charity fraud.

Our helpline team may ask for pictures of the bag and the date you received it – this information will help our collection protection team combat bogus collections.

You can also contact your local authority to check if the named charity is legally making collections in your area or contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting the Action Fraud website.
(Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external websites.)

How can I tell a genuine Clothes Aid distributor or collector?

Our bag distribution and clothing collection staff will be fully uniformed – with a navy-blue t-shirt or jumper (embroidered with the Clothes Aid logo), blue trousers and an orange hi-vis jacket or vest (again, with the Clothes Aid logo). Genuine Clothes Aid staff will carry an ID badge when out distributing or collecting bags.

All Clothes Aid vehicles are either fully branded with printed livery, or magnetic panels attached – with our logo, telephone number and website address on the side or rear of the vehicle.

Here’s a couple of pictures so you know what to look out for.


If you aren’t sure about whether there is a genuine Clothes Aid collection taking place in your area, please call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or email

How your donations help

How much money does Clothes Aid give to its charities?

We have contractual agreements in place with our partner charities, where we commit to raising a fixed amount over the course of a year. If there are not enough donations to reach this figure, then Clothes Aid makes up any shortfall, and if we raise more than our target – then great, more money for the great causes we support!

This information can be found on the Notifiable Solicitation Statement on our charity bags, but for ease, and to promote transparency, we have listed the figures below.

Clothes Aid’s annual fundraising targets;

Age UK Hertfordshire – at least £50,000 plus VAT per year
Bradley Lowery Foundation – at least £20,000 plus VAT per year
Cancer Support UK – at least £100,000 plus VAT per year
Children’s Air Ambulance – at least £20,000 plus VAT per year
Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – at least £20,000 plus VAT per year
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – at least £500,000 plus VAT per year
People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals – at least £100,000 plus VAT per year
Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – at least £25,000 plus VAT per year
The Children’s Hospital Charity – at least £37,500 plus VAT per year
Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice (Liverpool) – at least £25,000 plus VAT per year

What percentage of profits go to the charity?

Each of our partner charities receive a contractually agreed percentage of profit, which resides between 75% and 95% after our costs are met. The exact percentage depends on each charity’s own licences or National Exemption Orders and collection overheads. The modest amount remaining is reinvested back into Clothes Aid.

To promote transparency, we have put the Notifiable Solicitation Statement on each page of our partner charities and they appear on every Clothes Aid bag.

Why does there seem such a disparity between the general export price per tonne and the price per tonne that goes to charity?

The entire process of collecting and exporting second hand clothing is a costly one. Considering the bag production and distribution, collection, staffing, warehouse overheads, storage, sales and export, these factors can cost more than £950 per tonne collected.

We do have other costs indirectly involved in the collection of clothing. As a company striving to promote best practice in the clothing collection sector, we are also levy-paying members of the Fundraising Regulator and Institute of Fundraising (IoF). We also apply for a House to House Collection Licence from over 500 local authority councils for each of our partner charities without a National Exemption Order, and send a notification letter on behalf of our partner charities with a National Exemption Order.

Due to the sometimes-deemed controversial nature of charity profits and spending, we had our returns independently explored by Intelligent Giving, specifically looking at how clothing collections fared as a justifiable fundraising method. The evaluation proved it is an efficient and effective way of raising funds for charity.

Our return on investment was calculated at £10.83 for every £1 spent, which was found to be more than acceptable, especially as we require zero investment from our partner charities.

The environment

Are your charity bags recyclable? In a word, yes.

The plastics currently used in Clothes Aid bags have been chosen because of their strength, durability, and production costs. At the time of writing, there aren’t any suitable materials available for the purposes required by Clothes Aid – keeping the 300,0001 tonnes of textiles thrown away in the UK every year out of landfill. We are continuing to investigate this matter and should any advances in technology be made, then we will be ready and waiting to make changes to the materials used in Clothes Aid’s bags.

People have suggested that Clothes Aid should stop using plastic bags. We would love to use alternatives, such as paper bags, but in the inclement British weather this is sadly not a possibility as the rain would damage the donated clothing, rendering it not suitable to be exported. This would mean less money for our partner charities.

In 2017 we began trialling sticky labels in some areas of the country. Should these trials continue to be successful, then there is every possibility that we will expand this out across the United Kingdom.

We would be keen to hear from any supplier in the UK who can produce bags with recycled content suitable for clothing collections, or from any other suggestions about how we can make our operation better for the environment. Please email us at

1 WRAP, Valuing our Clothes report, 2017. (Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external links)

Why is diverting textiles from landfill so important to the environment?

In the UK alone, we throw away over 300,0001 tonnes of clothing every year.

As we hope you’ll agree, this is far too large an amount, and here at Clothes Aid, we’d like to help contribute towards the reduction of this figure, whilst helping our worthwhile partner charities in the UK who do not have high street shops. Textiles take an incredibly long time to degrade, which is why we’re dedicated to ensuring that as little as possible is disposed of.

Besides extending the life of the UK’s unloved clothes through donations, we’re proud to work with leading industry bodies such as Love Your Clothes and the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) to raise awareness of repairing, mending or upcycling your existing garments into something completely new.

1 WRAP, Valuing our Clothes report, 2017. (Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external links)

I’m not going to use your charity bag; do you collect them?

Although we collect lots of donations every week, collecting the unused bags would be a logistically impossible and timely process, so it’s not a financially sound option for us to collect all the unused bags and would affect the money we can pass onto our partner charities.

The bags are recyclable, take them to your local big supermarket or in the councils recycling collection service.  We would encourage you to utilise the bags within your household or reuse them where possible. Over the years we’ve had a wide variety of alternative uses sent to us from the public, everything from cleaning pet cages, gardening, and fancy-dress outfits.

We wish we were joking about the fancy dress.

Can I request that no further bags be posted through my door?

Of course. If you do not wish to receive any further Clothes Aid bags, please fill out our contact form, call our helpline on 020 7288 8545 or email us at

Whilst we cannot categorically guarantee that you will never receive a bag again due to occasional uncontrollable factors (such as changes in the business), we will endeavour to ensure that we honour this agreement to the best of our ability.

Why don’t Clothes Aid distribute paper stickers to be attached to donators own bags to save the environment?

We have been conducting small trials of paper stickers with some of our partner charities and collection teams to measure their effectiveness. If these trials continue to be successful, then Clothes Aid is committed to using stickers to collect clothing across the United Kingdom.

We would be keen to hear from the public about any practical suggestions about how we can make our operation better for the environment. Please email

Glossary of clothes collection terms

As part of our efforts to keep things simple, here’s the low down on some industry jargon. These glossary terms also make reference to the following laws, acts and regulations.
House to House Collections Act (1939)
House to House Collections Regulations (1947)
Charities Act (1992)
Charities Act (2006)
Code of Fundraising Practice v1.5 (October 2017)
(Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external websites.)

Bogus collectors / Bogus operations

Bogus Collectors operate outside the law in two ways, by either stealing genuine charity bags from doorsteps or by creating misleading marketing materials and even posing as genuine charities to seek out donations. Our own collection protection department was established in 2006 to tackle these crimes head on and lobby for tighter enforcements.

Since then, we have worked on positive campaigns with various Members of Parliament and the City of London’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to witness a rise in prosecutions against organised criminal gangs and stop them from stealing donations to our partner charities.

Code of Fundraising Practice

The Code of Fundraising Practice (and its associated rulebooks for street, door and private site fundraising) outline the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK. Clothes Aid is committed to following the code of fundraising practice.

The standards were developed by the fundraising community through the work of the Public Fundraising Association (PFRA) and the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), before the two organisations merged into the Institute of Fundraising.

Commercial Participator

Commercial Participator is what we are to our charities, which is a commercial business where a percentage of our proceeds goes to charity. We have a Commercial Participator agreement with each of our charities, as required under the Charities Act (1992).

House to House Collections Licence

House to House Collections Licences are governed by the House to House Collections Act (1939), supported by the House to House Collection Regulations (1947), the Charities Act (1992) and Charities Act (2006).

Charities or companies carrying out charitable household collections are legally required to get permission from each local authority where they plan to collect. Non charitable collections however do not require a licence. We apply for all relevant licences on our charities behalf.

A small number of major charities have a National Exemption Order, which is an exemption from requiring this licence. It is illegal for a charity collection to take place without a House to House Collections Licence. If caught, it can result in a prosecution by the local authority.

Internal Suppression List

Clothes Aid has an internal list of households and addresses where people have contacted us and requested that no more bags are delivered to them.

This list is stored on a secure internal computer system, only available to specially trained staff at our London head office, our helpline team and our warehouses in the UK.

The names and addresses on this list:

  • Are not publicly available.
  • Will not be sold or otherwise shared, nor communicated to by any external third party or partner charity.
  • Will not be the target of any marketing communication from Clothes Aid or any associated organisation.

Clothes Aid is registered with the Information Commissioner (registration reference: Z1749450) and follows all data protection regulations, guidelines and principles.

National Exemption Orders

National Exemption Orders are issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as part of the House to House Collections Act (1939) with the purpose of controlling the licensing procedure.

If a charity holds collection licences in at least 70-100 local authorities for two years or more, they can apply for a National Exemption Order. This means they no longer need to apply for individual licences per local authority. There are only 47 charities that currently have them, including Children’s Air Ambulance (as part of The Air Ambulance Service), NSPCC and PDSA.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has further information about National Exemption Orders:
National Exemption Order guidance
List of National Exemption Order holders (last updated December 2015)
(Clothes Aid is not responsible for the content of external links)

Notifiable Solicitation Statement

Notifiable Solicitation Statement is what’s requirement of all Commercial Participators. We are obliged to make a clear claim regarding exactly how much we will give to charity. Our statements are printed on each of our charity bags highlighting how much per tonne of clothes we give.

Social Business

Social Business describes a business that’s prime motivation is to benefit society or a cause, not to maximise profits. Typically a non-loss, non-dividend company that is financially self-sustainable. Profits are reinvested to increase social impact or in our case, given to our partner charities.

Zero Investment Fundraising

We raise funds for our partner charities on a zero investment basis.

Put simply, it means that they don’t pay a single penny towards any of the costs involved in
collecting clothes. Clothes Aid covers all the costs involved – such as warehouses, vehicles, fuel, staffing, licensing, utilities, and the money raised goes to help the great causes we support.