Halifax shoe boss urges big firms to give returned or damaged stock to homeless
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Simon Payne from Halifax is founder of Sole Responsibility – a business which buys seconds, returned and damaged branded shoes and clothing from some of the UK’s leading retailers – all of which would have been destined for landfill or incineration.
Mr Payne is urging footwear and clothing retailers and manufacturers to consider how they are dealing with seconds and returned stock this winter by donating it to the homeless and those in need following a huge increase in people living in poverty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “Charity has always been at the very heart of what we do and we allocate at least 10% of our stock to charitable causes
"This winter we've noticed a huge step change in demand for support as the social and economic impact of the pandemic takes its toll.
"We've received enquiries and calls for help from all across the UK and it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a growing need for donations to help people through the next few months.
"For the past six years I have been working alongside some of the UK’s leading retailers to provide a solution to goods that they deem unsaleable – changing the perception of this subprime stock by selling it direct to consumers through an eBay shop front."
Mr Payne said clothing retailers and manufacturers have ex-display, damaged and returned stock which is often sent to landfill or incinerated because it is not 'commercially viable'.
The Halifax footwear boss set up Sole Responsibility in 2014 with the aim of working with those within the fashion industry, providing an ethical and sustainable route for subprime products to be sold to consumers or donated.
He said: "Not only does this have a devastating environmental impact, but these goods could in fact be diverted to a better use – such as those in need, especially at this time of the year.
“As temperatures plummet and we head towards the depths of winter, I’m urging retailers to consider how they could make a tangible difference by doing something responsible with stock that cannot be sold.
"By working with a business such as mine, which has the full infrastructure in place to handle volume from retailers and distribute to charities, this small action could make a huge difference to people’s lives this winter.”
The majority of these goods are sold to consumers via an eBay store, however every year the business donates at least 10 percent of its stock to local charitable causes.
In October this year, Mr Payne worked with multiple charities across Yorkshire to donate boots to homeless and people living in poverty – with more than £25,000 worth of stock distributed to people in need in Yorkshire and the North West.
This winter he is donating more than 600 winter coats to homeless people in the North of England and has seen a huge increase in calls for help as the pandemic takes its toll on people across the region, with increasing numbers of people require support.
With night-time temperatures creeping down towards zero degrees, the entrepreneur is now urging retailers and clothing brands in Yorkshire and beyond to consider how they too could help this winter.
For more information about Sole Responsibility visit: www.soleresponsibility.co.uk