Oxfam becomes a rising star in the UK online fashion industry


This is one of the best secrets of fashion, a website where you can buy luxury brands such as Burberry, Prada and Miu Miu as well as the best street robbery.

At Christmas, sales rose 33% as shoppers packaged antique and designer clothes during the party season, but the company was not listed on the stock exchange, like the internet giant Asos, and had no chance of being taken over. If you look closely, some clothes look familiar.

In fact, they may really be your clothes – as Oxfam has become an unlikely upstart for the fast-growing online fashion industry in the UK as it watches more and more in stores in trash bags The brand dumped and retro style every day at home.

Andrew Horton, Oxfam’s trading director, said: “It was a big secret, but when people heard about our site they were really interested and he hoped to bring online business in the next three years Doubling its size to 10% of retail sales.

The site runs in a sponge-like warehouse in Batley, West Yorkshire. The building is home to Wastesaver, a charity’s sorting and recycling center, where 50 paid workers screen 80 tons of clothing to the door every week.
Horton explains: “The stores receive donations every day.” If we do not have enough logistics to collect donations, they may get blocked. Some shops only small warehouse, we do not want to donate away. ”

This 80,000-square-foot warehouse is close to the hub of Ascendas Barnsley and receives clothes every weekday. Put the bags on the conveyor belt, which will be pickers to scan the best-selling items, and placed in white sacks labeled “shoes”, “vintage”, “leather”. Milton Keynes has a second sorting center.

The sacks are then passed on to a small team surrounded by mood boards created by fashion students who remind them of the latest trends so that they can choose their online store. It is estimated that by 2018, dusting jackets and poncho will become very large, as well as patterned bags, leather gloves and any sour yellow material.

Oxfam website has more than 125,000 disposable products, including books and music and clothing. On Christmas, the most searched brands on the site include Barbour, Gucci, Whistles and Boden. Currently, trash clothing from Oxfam designers’ boutiques sells silk Hermès scarves at £ 190 for a Burberry trench coat for £ 110.

Houghton said: “I helped Bartley clean up the Christmas order, there is a Karl Lagerfeld jacket of the 80s.” We have always believed that donors want us to raise as much money as possible. This is usually about one-third of the cost of retail. Lagerfeld jacket is £ 75, people who like old-fashioned clothes will know that this is a good price. ”
Oxfam’s fashion show was first held at the 2017 London Fashion Week to enhance the fashion look of the site. This charity is repeating this exercise this year, that is, designer Bay Garnett is assembling this series.

In a warehouse near Wastesaver, a group of volunteers tasked with Asos processing of these garments, shooting mannequins and uploading their descriptions on the Web site.

About half of Oxfam 620 stores carry out this task on their own, and charities are investing in technology to speed up this time-consuming process.

Some of the ideal items found by Wastesaver staff were sent back to stores that did not receive enough donations, including the stores at Cleveleys, Guisborough and Bury. At the Oxfam Festival in Glasstonbury and Bestival, more weird stuff and any harsh clothing were preserved.

Of the clothes Sorted by Batley, only 3% returned to stores or sold online, while the rest went overseas or recycled. This summer’s stuff, plus any pair of old bras, was rolled into hay bales and sold to Oxfam Frip Ethique, a social enterprise in West Africa.
Winter clothing that British shoppers may miss – as the supermarket’s own brand is almost as cheap as the new one – is packaged in Eastern Europe.

For clothes that have reached the end of wearable life, the future is poor, not old fashioned. Oxfam sells the leftover food to recycling companies, turning them into cheap wool yarns that make carpet or car seat liners.

For Britain’s retailers this was a difficult Christmas, but Oxfam recorded a similar sales increase of 1.6%. Total sales rose 1.2% to 16.9 million pounds in the eight weeks ending Dec. 23.

Compared to high-end giants such as Marks & Spencer, that figure is still down, but annual sales this year are expected to exceed  74 million, and Oxfam’s success is not measured by stock prices, but by 200,000 in emergency situations.