FOLLOWERS of fashion are being invited to have a pre-Christmas clearout to help stock a charity’s stores.
Barnardo’s is asking people to dig through their old party wear and donate to its shops in Pallion, Pennywell, and the city centre in Sunderland, as well as Seaham.
Tracie Mitchison, manager of its shop in Pennywell, said: “We have a lot of very glamorous party wear in at the moment, but we know it will sell fast, so we’re grateful for any donations to replenish our stock.”
Tracie is stocking long gowns, black dresses, embellished dresses, and the clutch bags and boleros to match.
The drive for Christmas clothes comes as charity shops throughout the city admit to feeling the pinch during the recession.
According to a study by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, donations to charity have fallen by 20 per cent in the past year.
Tracey Brooks, Barnardo’s regional manager for retail in the North East, said: “Our customers know to come to Barnardo’s at Christmas for their party wear. In fact we’re famous for it, and this season the look is very much about velvet, lace or sparkly, the kind of thing that can be very easily sourced at Barnardo’s shops, so we are expecting a really busy winter period.
“Public appetite for party wear is as high as ever and so we need a constant supply of stock. This year we are particularly keen for people to donate sequinned or ‘bejewelled’ items to our shops, as there is a real demand that we are finding hard to meet.
“Donating to Barnardo’s is a great way to recycle your unwanted clothes and accessories, perhaps pick up an unexpected bargain and support some of the region’s most disadvantaged children, helping to give them a better start in life.”
Other items it will welcome to help deal with the demand from shoppers include any beaded items such as bags, jackets, dresses and tops, faux fur coats, anything metallic, and shoes – the higher the heel the better.