The first ever Charity Superstore has recently opened up by Oxfam. Based in a retail park in Oxford, this huge Superstore is home to thousands of second hand donations from clothes to homewares, books, toys and bric-a-brac. Not only that but you can also find Oxfam’s extensive new gifts range- ‘Sourced by Oxfam’. A collection of ethical and sustainable products; beautiful handmade rag rugs, sari bunting, recycled bird feeders and much much more. Did you know that 84p from every Pound spent with Oxfam goes directly into the charity and the work they do in more than 90 countries worldwide.
Oxfam is a global movement of millions of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable. In just 15 years, extreme poverty has been halved. 15 more years and we can end it for good.
I went to check out the new Superstore and met with Oxfam’s Visual Merchandiser David Humphries who gave us a tour around. The centre of the store has a collection of market stalls, creating a handful of areas to make your shopping experience more intimate. David uses these spaces to make colour and theme stories, outfitting and accessorising to show the customer how things can be worn together.
On the right hand side of the shop is a giant authentic Oxfam Water tank which has been cleverly transformed into a cafe. These tanks are typically filled to the brim with water and placed in some of the most deprived places in poverty ridden countries. Water, sanitation and hygiene underpin many of Oxfam’s poverty-fighting development projects.
During my visit, I got to learn all about sustainable fashion. Oxfam are proud to say that NO item donated to the charity goes to landfill. Everything is recycled, even the items deemed ‘useless’ are put to good use for example; made into mattress stuffing, used for insulation, carpet underlay and send to Oxfam’s sister project in Senegal which sells the clothes in local African markets. The first Oxfam shop opened in the 1940’s and they’ve been reusing and reselling ever since. In 1974, Oxfam became the first national charity to develop its own facility for recycling and reusing clothes that never sends clothes to landfill. ‘Wastesaver’ now handles 12,000 tonnes of textiles every year.
What happens to your donated stuff if it doesn’t sell in your local Oxfam shop?
1. Oxfam’s sorting centre
Your clothes and textiles are brought to Oxfam’s unique recycling plant in Batley. Their experts then sort through it by hand, to decide where it should go next.
2. Oxfam’s Festival Shops
Your clothes might end up at Glastonbury, or one of Oxfam’s many pop-up shops that we run throughout the summer in the UK.
3. Oxfam’s Online Shop
You might see your pre-loved clothing listed on the online shop, along with thousands of other items.
4. Oxfam’s high street shops
At Oxfam there are many ways to protect our planet and reduce the harmful effect of ‘fast fashion’, while helping the poorest people around the world to escape the injustice of poverty:
Donate clothing (and more) to your local Oxfam shop to prolong their lifespan and save them from landfill.
Buy second-hand clothes at Oxfam’s Online Shop. Every penny you spend helps to support Oxfam’s work. Choose from a range of women’s, men’s or kids’ clothing.
Oxfam resell, reuse, recycle. If your clothes don’t get sold they’ll work hard to continue their journey. Each year over 14,000 tonnes of clothing are diverted from landfill!
If each and every one of us make even the smallest of changes to our shopping habits and donate/ recycle and reuse where we can, then collectively we can and WILL make a huge difference in the world.
The new Oxfam Superstore can be found at the following location; OXFAM SUPERSTORE, OXFORD BUSINESS PARK, ALEC ISSIGONIS WAY, OXFORD OX4 2JZ
To shop online: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop
by Laura x