Having a wardrobe chuck out is both liberating and therapeutic. Getting rid of the too small, tatty, smelly or simply rubbish garments you’ve been haplessly hoarding is a ritual of cleansing and renewal. It’s even better if a plastic sack is delivered promising a doorstep collection this Friday that will ship off your rejects, with no effort on your part, to be recycled into magic money and sparkles for various charities. You get to buy lots of new stuff and feel good about yourself. Everyone’s a winner.
Or are they? It appears there’s a rotten new form of criminal on the streets. They’re the lowest of the low and the worst dressed in town as they’re nabbing bin bags full of your cast offs before the charities can get them. The problem is so bad that Clothesaid, who collect for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, have employed vigilante bikers to carry out cycle-by surveillance on doorstep donations to photograph and rat on bogus collectors. One such recruit said:
We're looking at tonnes and tonnes of clothing per week. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We should be getting one or two a day, as there's about five of their vans out a day, but we are only catching possibly one a week. But yes, it is vast. It's huge.
It’s shocking, to be sure, but what on earth are these people up to? Are they twisted retail fashionistas rootling out designer and vintage from the dross and making a sly fortune? Have they got some evil invention that turns a mountain of old rags into liquid gold? Or are they holding huge blackmarket jumble sales and rinsing out the tenacious granny and student pound? It's organised crime but not as we know it.
If you’ve got any idea what's going on or if you receive a suspicious leaflet through the door, please ring Clothesaid’s helpline on 0870 607 4600.
Image courtesy of brappy!'s Flickrstream.