The Empty Shop; an award winning and unique charity fashion event, is back in Manchester for the third time following an incredible response in 2014 and 2015. The concept of The Empty Shop is that people bring clothes to the shop instead of taking them away, giving everyone a chance to donate some of their pre-loved apparel to a fantastic cause.
In 2014 and 2015, instead of simply donating in a conventional way, the clothes were styled each day by stylists and fashion bloggers, giving old items new purpose. Each night the clothes were taken to Mustard Tree where they were either sold within our charity shops, given to people in need or donated to other charities. Selected premium items were also sold at a high-end sale following The Empty Shop, giving people a chance to purchase some highly desirable products.
The success of The Empty Shop in previous years has been incredible with over 15,800 items of clothing being donated, just over £10,000 was raised from the sale of the clothes and the event also gained outstanding media coverage. This year The Empty Shop returns with a twist as everyone is invited to donate their good quality pre-loved clothing at 12 Manchester Arndale retailers; Luke, Warehouse, Evans, Superdry, Jack & Jones, Quiz, Next, New Look, Simply Be, Jacamo, Dorothy Perkins and Burton. When you make a donation, you will receive up to 20 % off any purchases in that store.
This exciting partnership between Manchester Arndale and Mustard Tree has been incredibly effective over the course of the last two years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the centre again to deliver The Empty Shop 2016. Since the project started, we have seen the people of Manchester demonstrate their generosity towards some of the most vulnerable members of this great city. Not only has this project allowed us to connect with the community to raise awareness of our work with people who are homeless and disadvantaged, it has also resulted in us being able to offer immediate relief to people in need, as well as much needed resources to drive the ongoing work of delivering long term solutions.
Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor-Dawson will be the official ambassador for the project, which will be officially launched on 20 January before opening for donations from Friday 22 until Sunday 31 January. Being spread out amongst twelve different retailers means that it will be more accessible than ever, and will hopefully inspire people to donate and help us to beat the 2 tonnes worth of clothes we collected last year. We will be putting some of these donations to good use at our sale event on the 13 of February at Ziferblat. You can find out more information about this event on Facebook so you can come along and support a good cause by buying the best pre-loved clothing.
The brilliant efforts of the past two years have really set the stage for The Empty Shop 2016 to be the best yet. Not only will stores have a chance to see who can collect the most donations, they are able to donate clothes themselves, following on from previous years’ successful donations that saw one brand donate over 1000 garments. We want to break all previous records this year however, and that means we need as many people to get donating as possible, even if your wardrobe only needs a minor New Year clear out.
This amazing reinvention of the traditional clothing drive is all about giving and the idea is not to buy the clothes that are on display, but rather to add to the collection and develop a visual spectacle that acts as a form of exchange to bring people closer to the issue. Rather than just asking people for money this really engages people with the idea of giving and just how easy it is to contribute to something great. Not only that but it’s great to see your pre-loved items given a purpose.
It could not be more easy to get involved, so what are you waiting for? Open up your wardrobe and see if there are some items you never wear anymore. It doesn’t matter that they’re not brand new, we’ll happily add them to The Empty Shop and style them in one of our twelve donation points. You’ll be in great company as well as we’re expecting even more local celebrities to come along this year, including the official ambassador of the project, Hollyoaks star, Ashley Taylor-Dawson. Why not take the chance to let your pre-loved items get a new life and do something good for charity all at once.
On Saturday 13 February, 10:00 – 16:00, we will be hosting the first of many sale events at Ziferblat Edge St in which you will be able to purchase items donated through The Empty Shop with all money raised going back into the charity so we continue the work we do in supporting those who are most vulnerable.
Written by Jonny Williams, FireCask.