an official journal of: published by:
an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Robin Osterley - Charity Retail Association, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Ian D. Williams - University of Southampton, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2018 CISA Publisher


Charity shops are retail outlets selling mainly second-hand donated goods to raise funds for their parent charities. The charity retail sector is becoming an increasingly significant player in terms of demonstrating the benefits of reuse and how it can be practically realised. This paper provides an overview of the UK’s charity retail sector and considers the social, environmental and economic benefits of charity shops. We estimate there are 11,200 charity shops in the UK that employ 23,000 staff and have a volunteer workforce of 230,000. Approximately 95Ͽf the clothes charity shops receive are either recycled or reused, diverting 331,000 tonnes of textiles from landfill and reducing CO2 emissions by 6.9 million tonnes in 2015/16. A key factor in understanding how charity shops contribute to social good includes understanding and quantifying how they might contribute to the development of the circular economy via the encouragement and practical realisation of reuse. We see this paper as a step in this process, flagging the social, environmental and economic benefits of charity shops and highlighting the need for additional research into the contribution of the charity retail sector to reuse and resource preservation/recovery.


Editorial History

  • Received: 18 Jul 2018
  • Revised: 31 May 2019
  • Accepted: 16 Jul 2019
  • Available online: 26 Sep 2019


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