Salvation Army hand over £10m of charity dosh to recycling specialists

31 January 2011

4526014379The charity shop clothes business has never been bigger than it is now, and there’s no doubt that it is a business. Some of us give away more unwanted clothes to charity now that we’re conscious of recycling, while those of us who are a bit skint are finding it a good idea to buy from charity shops.

Plus, it’s good to know that loads of money is being raised for good causes as well. Or is it? Not according to a report from The Grauniad – they say that the company that runs the Salvation Army’s textile recycling banks has creamed off £10 million in the past in the past three years, with the company owner living in a £1 million mansion, owning a racehorse and possibly enjoying a round-the-clock diet of quail eggs and Baileys.

Nigel Hanger is that man, and while the Salvation Army have made £16.3 million in that same period, Hanger has become a very, very rich man, masterminding the sale of donated clothes to shops across Eastern Europe, and being handsomely rewarded into the bargain.

Sales of recycled clothes are big business behind what used to be the iron curtain, with shoppers able to pick up good-quality clobber at a fraction of the price of their brand new equivalent.

The Salvation Army have defended the earnings of Hanger’s Kettering Textiles company, describing the huge sum as ‘administrative costs’. Meanwhile, the Charity Commission have launched a review of the whole, slightly shady situation.

TOPICS:   Economy


  • Glass F.
    Despite it being Monday morning, thanks to a relatively sober weekend i'm feeling rather chipper and optimistic today. With that in mind lets try and take some positives out of this story shall we? Importantly, if you ever needed a further excuse not to donate to charity - here it is. Cast iron proof that your charitable donations are used to fund the luxurious lifestyle of some banana executive from rural England, whilst you, the charitable donor, cheery eyed and rosie cheeked, fend off the homeless criminals to whom your charity was intended and indeed who may not be such pests if the donations actually ever made it to them. Furthermore, by exploiting Eastern Europe, this despot is no doubt funding drug dealers, sex trafficking and ultimately - terrorism. So there you have it. Charities are a short step from global terrorist organisations hell bent on killing you and financing it with your own soiled underwear, given away with sincere and decent intent. I suggest you lob a brick through your nearest Marie Curie shop front at the earliest opportunity and join forces with the US Government in their War on Terror.
  • Tarquin W.
    Whilst this is all very sad/bad and made me mad.... Can you please correct this: 'in the past in the past three years' Reads a bit like the hit single by Paul Hardcastle which is making me really upset.
  • PlatPlat
    What is not legit about this, exactly? Think the Salvation Army have the manpower to handle millions of pounds worth of clothes? On these clothing bags for genuine charities they are usually upfront that it is a third party collecting and if you visit their website they tend to be transparent about the allocation of revenue, too.
  • Alex
    So gross income is £26m, cost of sales is £16m, leaving £10m profit to the Sally Army. Fuck knows how many items of clothing it takes to sell second hand clothing into Eastern Europe for that much. What's the £16m going to have been spent on? Industrial laundrettes Haulage Staff to wash, sort and package the clothing. (50 full time and a lot of subbies by the look of it). Haven't downloaded the company accounts from Companies house but I'm unclear whether they act solely for the Salvation Army or not? It's a fact of life that only a small proportion of what you give to large national charity goes in charity work- Save the Children even note it on their website. They also spent £22m on admin last year.
  • Zleet
    This is why I just buy lottery tickets to make my charitable donations. I already know that Camelot are corrupt but at least there is a small chance it will be me getting ten million off the top.
  • Richard
    I agree in a utopian world 100% of the proceeds from the donations go to charity but it's not. I think although it seems like a lot the salvation army are still getting over £15m for doing nothing. It takes a large company to manage these donations and they're obviously not going to do it without a profit. Just think how much less the salvation army would get if they tried to do it themselves.
  • Stu_
    At least some of it IS going to the Salvation Army. Many of these so called "Clothing Charities" aren't even real charities and when you do leave stuff outside the door, they can't be bothered to pick it up unless you leave them some Armani suits.
  • Nob
    I find they are generally quite good at taking crap away. Quite literally. I once used one of those charity bags to put lots of used nappies in (babies' ones, not mine). A few old rags on top, tie it nice and tight and leave it outside. Gone in the morning.
  • scott
    @nob brings a new meaning to donating "shit" to charity
  • Simon L.
    "Posted by PlatPlat | January 31st, 2011 at 11:45 am What is not legit about this, exactly? Think the Salvation Army have the manpower to handle millions of pounds worth of clothes?" I couldn't agree more. At least someone has the sense to read and understand the article rather than just dancing to the tune of the press.
  • Simon L.
    I couldn't agree more with the post by PlatPlat. At least someone has the sense to read and understand the article rather than just dancing to the tune of the press.

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