CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

We’ve done nothing wrong, says boss behind ‘misleading’ clothing banks

Council orders the removal of the Local Community Clothing Company's collection points

22 March, 2018 — By William McLennan

The clothing banks which appeared in West Hampstead Photos: @FordwychRA

THE director of a recycling company that has been ordered to remove its clothing banks from the streets of Camden has denied running a “scam” and said: “We are not a charity and we are not misleading anyone.”

Andrew McCafferty, of the Local Community Clothing Company, has been told by Camden Council that his textile bins will be destroyed if he does not remove them from pavements, following claims that they were misleading and had been installed without authorisation.

A councillor and a security expert employed by charities this week advised residents not to use the clothing banks.

However, Mr McCafferty told the New Journal: “We are not a rip-off company. We are not a rogue company. If you look at our banks, not one of them says we are a charity. We are not misleading anyone.”

He said that the company, based in Wembley, had in the past donated clothes to homeless men and women living at Arlington House in Camden Town, alongside other good deeds.

He said: “We have bought a cooker for a woman in Church Street and we did a house up in Abbey Road when it was flooded.” He said they employed ex-convicts who would otherwise struggle to find work, adding: “We don’t even want to make a profit. We just want to make enough money to feed ourselves.”

The clothing banks in Fortune Green Road and Minster Road were brought to the Town Hall’s attention by Labour councillor Lorna Russell. It is claimed they look like official charity collection points.

Cllr Russell said: “I want the clothes in there to go to charities. Residents that have donated have done it in good faith.” She said: “If residents want to donate I would encourage them to use a legitimate [clothing bank].”

The clothing recycling industry has come under scrutiny this week after a trade body claimed that charities were losing out on hundred of thousands of pounds to unscrupulous firms that had taken 750 clothing banks belonging to legitimate companies.

There is no suggestion that Local Community Clothing Company has acted illegally.

Richard Alvin, who works for Crimedeter, a security company employed by the charity clothing sector, said: “Readers should only donate to charity clothing banks which clearly show details of the charity they claim to be from. They should look for a charity number and clear details that the banks are from a bona fide charity.”

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