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Press Release

Charity Shops Encourage Donors to Check for the ICSA Logo

21 October 2016. Dublin. ‘Trust shops with the ICSA logo’, so say the 38 members of the Irish Charity Shops Association (ICSA), an umbrella body for charity shops who operate shops to fundraise for their causes. They are working closely with the Charity Regulatory Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency to encourage the public to check for the ICSA logo when donating unwanted clothing and to report any suspicious activity by visiting www.icsa.ie.

Speaking at the ICSA member conference held in Dublin today, Colette Miller, Chair of the ICSA and Retail Manager with Barnardos said “Your unwanted clothes make a big difference when donated to a charity shop. A 10 kg bag of donated clothes suitable for re-use will generate €35 to €50 for a charity and provide good quality clothes at affordable prices for people who have limited disposable income.

The members of ICSA estimate that they handle 21,522 tons of donated textile per year - the equivalent weight of 4,304 elephants or 125 blue whales, the largest animal ever known to have existed! The resale and reuse of which generates more than €20 million in profit to directly fund the work of the charities, while also providing an invaluable environmental reuse activity.

Duncan Stewart, a leading Irish advocate for environmental, health and conservation issues for over 40 years said: “Charity shops provide a platform for resale and reuse and have the principle of sustainability at their core. The high quality products which charity shops sell at exceptionally good value, would otherwise typically end up doing damage in landfill, as the garments decay, or cause unquantifiable damage by being exported abroad by private companies for profit, with little traceability or monitoring of where these products end up, along with the environmental damage they are likely to create in their process of decay. We urgently need to embrace and transition our society to a low carbon, resource efficient, inclusive, circular economy!”   

The ICSA has 38 charity members who between them operate 424 shops in all 26 counties. Five of the members also operate 650 clothing banks located around the country. Members include Barnardos, Gorta, Irish Cancer Society, Enable Ireland, Oxfam Ireland, NCBI, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Age Action, Focus Ireland, Jack and Jill Foundation, Irish Wheelchair Association, Aware, Cheeverstown, Debra Ireland, as well as 17 smaller community-based charities. A full list of members is available on www.icsa.ie. Shoppers and donors are also encourage to check for the ICSA logo displayed on the shop window, clothing bank or on the donation bag delivered to their door.

ICSA members employ over 500 people across Ireland including many people on labour activation schemes such as CE and TUS, providing reskilling, upskilling and training opportunities. In addition charity shops contribute to the wider community through nurturing a strong volunteering spirit.

The Irish Charity Shops Association conference was made possible by the generous support of the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

Donated clothing that is unsuitable for sale in the shops is sold by the charities to textile merchants or for use for industrial wipes, or processed to make new textile products or reprocessed by the flocking industry for insulation in cars, roof felt or furniture padding.

Contact for media: 089 200 1995

ICSA members and no of shops

7 National/international charities with more than 10 shops
Gorta                                       11 shops
Irish Wheelchair Association       13 shops
Irish Cancer Society                  21 shops
Enable Ireland                           21 shops
Oxfam Ireland                           28 shops
NCBI                                         83 shops
Society of St Vincent de Paul      189 shops

5 National charities with 3 – 7 shops
Age Action     
Focus Ireland
Jack and Jill Foundation                    
Barnardos

9 National/international charities with 1 or 2 shops
Aware
Cheeverstown
Debra Ireland
Human Appeal International
Irish Deaf Society
Irish Red Cross
Power4Good (Tullamore based providing services in Zambia)   
Threshold
Vita    
Women's Aid

17 Community based charities with 1 or 2 shops
Adapt Services Limerick
Adapt Kerry
Cope Galway
Clare Haven Services (Ennis)
Claregalway Day Care Centre
Liberty Recycling (Merchant's Quay, Dublin)
Longford Women's Link
Mater Hospital Foundation
MS Northwest Therapy (Sligo)
Nas na Riogh Housing Association (McAuley Place Naas)
Purple House Cancer Support (Bray)
Respect (Dublin)
Dublin Simon Community     
Galway Simon Community
Midlands Simon Community (3 shops)
Sligo Social Services Council
St Brigid's Family and Community Centre (Waterford)
Waterford Hospice
WH Five Loaves (Wicklow)

Book Banks

Oxfam operate 16 book banks in Dublin, Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow.