Huddersfield's Oxfam plant raises thousands at Britain’s biggest festivals
Jan 27 2010 By Dave Himelfield
Oxfam plant raises thousands at Britain’s biggest festivals
IT makes hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity at Britain’s biggest music festivals.
Oxfam’s music festival shop operation is run right here in Huddersfield – and lucky volunteers will have the chance to go to this year’s festivals and sell clothes for Oxfam in return for free entry.
Hidden on a quiet industrial estate off Beck Road in Birkby, volunteers work all year round sorting clothes for Oxfam charity shops at festivals including Glastonbury, Leeds Festival, Latitude, Big Chill and other premier events.
From a humble store at Glastonbury in 2005 which made £6,000, Oxfam has gained a foothold at festivals and made a massive £135,000 last year.
The shops, which are tailored to each festival, sell all kinds of vintage and quirky clothing.
And every tweed jacket, silly hat, chunky jumper, vintage pair of jeans and feather boa sold goes to funding relief for some of the world’s poorest people.
The Birkby plant, called Oxfam Wastesaver, processes 200 tonnes of clothing every week.
Clothing is sent to the plant from Oxfam’s 750 stores nationwide.
And while the majority is exported to developing countries and Eastern Europe, about 12 tonnes of the more individual gear is filtered for sale at festivals.
And it isn’t just festival punters who have been buying at Oxfam festival shops. Celebrities such as singer-songwriter Jack Johnson and Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis have been in to snap up a bargain.
The operation has grown so much that last April Oxfam appointed a full-time manager of its festival stores alongside its 30 volunteers.