How your pre-loved items could change someone’s life
The above is just one of many requests Mustard Tree receives on a weekly basis. According to Greater Manchester Poverty Action, there are 620,000 people out of a population of 2.8m living below the poverty line in our city region (with over 4,000 people homeless or in temporary accommodation).
Originally devised by Oxfam, Second Hand September encourages people to shop second-hand to “reduce waste, take a stand against climate change and help create a fairer world”. At Mustard Tree, it also helps us combat poverty and prevent homelessness.
Purchasing items from our Community Shops not only promotes sustainable shopping – it also raises vital funds to help keep our support services operating, while donating pre-loved furniture, white goods and clothing just might help change someone’s life for the better.
Every item you see in our shops has been donated to us by individuals, businesses, or community groups. Simply put — we would not exist without the generosity of our supporters. We pass on the benefit of donations by gifting approximately 40% of donated furniture directly to people in need.
The Impact of your donations
Purchasing items from our Community Shops not only promotes sustainable shopping – it also raises vital funds to help keep our support services operating.
These numbers are growing and are significant — food, furniture and fuel poverty is now becoming a reality for in-work individuals and families, with demand for our services steadily climbing since the pandemic.
Testing and Training
Much of Mustard Tree’s front-line offer holds a dual purpose. Furniture collection drivers within our staff team act as mentors to trainees enrolled onto our life-skills and employability training placement — The Freedom Project.
The charity has recently brought the Repair and PAT testing training scheme to its Salford hubs, which involves upskilling Freedom Trainees in repairing, cleaning, function, and PAT testing of electronic items. This resulted in more donations of white goods recycled through our Community Shops.
Nothing Goes to Waste
Occasionally Mustard Tree will receive donations unsuitable for resale or gifting, whether damaged, defective or faulty. In these cases, the charity works with partners across the city to minimise the amount of second-hand items going to landfill.
Companies such as SWD Premier Clothing can find ways to reuse or recycle items otherwise destined for the tip. All clothing and household textiles collected are sorted and graded in up to 200 categories based on type of item and quality. Items not suitable for reuse are meticulously sorted and provided to UK recycling companies to give a second life as insulation, carpet underlay and mattress toppings:
“We work with Mustard Tree to ensure that the charity receives the maximum possible amount of money for items donated by the public. Some items will be unsuitable for sale in the shop or may have gone unsold. By working with a reliable partner such as ourselves, it ensures all used clothing, whatever the condition, helps to generate funds that the charity will use towards their worthy causes.”
— David Johnson, SWD
More recently, local businesses have come on board with Mustard Tree as part of their own values-based mission. Patagonia — who host their own ‘Worn Wear’ repair shop — encourages shoppers to bring in pre-owned clothing to donate to our hubs.
The donations are much appreciated all year round – but can be critically important for our clients once the wet and cold of winter sets in.
So the ask is clear. For the benefit of our charity, our clients, our please donate items to us and please shop with us.
How do I donate?
Submit a collection request online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0161 228 7331.
Are collections free of charge?
Do you have any criteria for collections?
In line with our dignity value, we ask that all items are in good, clean and working condition (with fire labels attached for material items). Images of items can be sent to email@example.com for guidance. Collection on the day is down to the driver’s discretion.
Where do you collect from?
Typically within the M60 Ring Road, prioritising larger and bulk collections. We may be able to travel a little further for larger collections.
Can I drop off items to you?
Absolutely! We can accept goods during opening hours — our warehouse team will quality-check items on arrival.
Your pre-loved furniture could be donated a family facing poverty, someone who’s previously been homeless or fleeing domestic violence.
With your help we can support individuals in Greater Manchester to live with dignity.
No items to donate? Please consider donating £5 a month to help fund our training and support services.
To those who have already joined our campaign or give to us monthly – THANK YOU! Please help us get the word out by sharing this newsletter with family, friends, colleagues and community members.
Your kind donations are vital for us to continue our work and are much appreciated by us all.