Our Community, Our Planet: A Greener Environment For All
Welcome to Our Community, Our Planet, a hospice campaign to share hints and tips on how we can all do our bit for the environment.
At St Andrew’s Hospice we are proud of our growing green credentials and we will strive to improve on this in the months and years ahead. Our shops are already doing an amazing job and, in addition to providing the hospice with much-needed funds for the running of our units, they provide a place for the ethical disposal of unwanted items and somewhere you can buy preloved clothes and home items which in turn puts less pressure on the planet through fast-fashion creation.
Locally, the eyes of the world are turned to our region as carbon reduction projects begin to take shape. Zero Carbon Humber is the world’s first net zero industrial cluster, a partnership striving to decarbonise the north of England through several projects. Carbon Capture and Storage is big news while Gigastack is an amazing project that will see renewable hydrogen used at the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, thus reducing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.
As an area with a large industrial presence along our estuary, and a seaside resort to boot, it is vital that we all make an attempt at making a difference, whether you are an individual or group, a small businesses or organisations – such as St Andrew’s Hospice – or a large refinery or factory. Only together can we make the changes needed for the future of our communities and, in turn, our planet.
Fashion and sustainability
Yes, we all like a new set of togs every now and again but the issue for the planet is how often we buy these items, what they are made of and where they have come from.
According to Greenpeace, clothing production has more than doubled during the last 15 years. Fast fashion, where a garment is created with the sole purpose of looking good for a very short period of time – often one day only – is big business. In addition to being harsh to the environment and the communities producing fast fashion, many of these single-use items can quickly end up in landfill.
While we, at charity shops, do our best to counteract this, by recycling and reselling as many donations as possible, half of the textiles we send to recyclers will still end up in landfill due to the products they are made from.
You’d also probably be surprised to know that cotton – unless it is recycled or responsibly made – is high up on the list of textiles that are extremely damaging to the environment. Cotton needs a lot of water and uses the most of all the agricultural commodities.
Naturally, it isn’t economically viable for us all to buy organic clothing, although many major brands now offer budget sustainable options to the clothes-buying masses. For those with ever-growing children, some of the more pricey organic brands would mean spending a small fortune on clothes, which simply isn’t feasible.
This is where we come in…
We are all guilty of buying something in a hopeful size too small, something we liked in a shop that rapidly found itself in the back of the wardrobe, or the fantastic footwear that looked more Puss-in-Boots than kinky boots when you tried them on at home. These items quite often wind their way into St Andrew’s Hospice charity shops, and similar, waiting for a new owner who is the right size and doesn’t look like a character from Shrek. That person could be you.
There are so many items in our retail outlets that have either been worn once, or never, in some cases, and garments which have been well looked after during the months or years in the wardrobe. From children’s clothes to menswear, ladies fashion and home items, you will find it in our shops and you will be able to give your beautiful new treat – purchased at a bargain fee, of course – a new lease of life.
And shopping at a charity shop is not only kind to the environment, it is lots of fun! Give us a whirl, if you haven’t already, and seek out that sparkly top or pair of shoes for the other half. You never know what you will find in our treasure troves of clothes …
If you want to know how you can adapt your way of shopping visit any one of these websites for facts and figures:
Going for green!
Sarah Playle is Retail Operations Manager for St Andrew’s Hospice. She explained how the shops are well-oiled machines, run with care and consideration for our local and global environments …
“We endeavour to find every item in our shop a destination, whether that is a textiles recycling company, a glass or metal recycler or a bag recycler,” she said. “You would be amazed at how many oddments we receive, such as one wine glass or one kitchen utensil. It is rare that someone wants to buy a single glass, they would rather buy a set, so we have to find somewhere for these single items to go, without them heading for the bin or landfill.”
Sorting at the charity shops is meticulous. The stock is all graded and sent to the relevant shops, for example, furniture will go to one of the St Andrew’s furniture stores, media items to another, branded and good quality fashion items to our high street outlets. If they don’t sell in these shops, they are then moved to one of the clearance shops, in either Grimsby Road or Freeman Street. There is also a pop-up shop in Freshney Place, for a last chance to buy with wall-to-wall clearance items on offer, opening days will be communicated through our website and social media channels.
The stock is moved around like this until it finds a home, but if it sadly stays on the shelf, it is sent to a recycle company. There is very little, if anything, that winds its way to the bin.
Sarah said: “Unfortunately, you would be surprised at how many duvets, pillows damp or soiled items or broken toys we receive. We really can’t do much with these as nobody will accept them, even recycling companies, this unfortunately directly takes valuable income away from the charity in disposing of these items, and would therefore urge our donors to check if they are unsure of what they should donate.”
Whatever you are looking for, you can find some fantastic bargains at any one of our 22 shops across the region, whether that is at one of the high end stores or the clearance outlets.
Sarah finished: “There is no longer a stigma when people say they are heading to a charity shop. It’s not only an increasing trend, but kinder to the planet. We would also like to see people move away from buying so much poorly made, throwaway fast fashion, and instead opting to purchase good quality preloved clothes.
“It’s more fashionable than ever to shop with St Andrew’s, and similar. We’re ethical, environmentally friendly, and just think of the treasures you’ll find!”
Here are just a few of the planet-friendly things the hospice does:
- Garment tickets are only applied to the garment once, and not removed at each shop.
- Christmas card only purchased with 100 per cent recycled materials.
- Order all consumables centrally to be delivered to each shop, reducing the carbon footprint.
- We don’t purchase carrier bags – 100 per cent are recycled bags from donations.
- We introduced lower prices on products more likely to be recycled, for example CDs, DVDs and soft toys, to help sell these items.
- Only use local suppliers for specialist trade works.
- Recycle all metals from all shops
- Recycle all glass and cardboard from both Wilton Road and the Furniture shop.
- Recycle 95 per cent of textiles, 100 per cent small electrical, 100 per cent books, 100 per cent media to Astco (our recycle provider).
- Van routing for delivery/collections designed to minimized fuel consumption and reduce carbon footprint.
Easy as one, two, PEA!
In early 2019-20 St Andrew’s Hospice embarked on an exciting programme of refurbishment that resulted in substantial savings in the cost of energy (gas and electricity) whilst also reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring the comfort of our patients, staff and visitors who use the building. To enable the completion of these works the hospice team were delighted and grateful to be successful in receiving grant funding from applications made to East Coast Community Fund (Orsted), Help-For-Health and Yor4Good.
In recent days, the hospice has been further promoting its green credentials through social media channels, sharing information about the retail arm of the charity and its hopes for the future.
The ‘Our Community, Our Planet’ campaign began on Earth Day, on April 22, and runs through to World Bee Day, on May 20, with colouring competitions, behind-the-scenes footage of the shops, recycle information and more.
Next on the busy agenda is a ‘Meatless Challenge’, which will coincide with No Meat May, an event that encourages people to switch to a plant diet for the month. ‘No Meat May’ talks of the health benefits of a plant-only diet and how eating less meat can help the planet, due to deforestation for farming land, among other issues.
At the hospice, the team has jumped on the meat-free bandwagon and are asking people to donate a tenner from their shopping to the charity if they ditch meat for a week on the Meatless Challenge.
Deputy Chief Executive Lesley Charlesworth-Browne said: “When we were looking for events that coincided with our campaign, No Meat May caught our eye for its simplicity. It’s easy to give something up for a few days and particularly at this time of year when many of us a switching to salads in the warmer weather. As a flexitarian (I try to be vegetarian most days) I can confirm its not too bad and makes you try other interesting foods !
“There have been numerous articles written about the financial effect of taking meat out of your diet, replacing it with plant-based products or simply vegetables. The majority have declared a reduction in the shopping bill, usually to the tune of around £10 per week, so we thought we would offer up the Meatless Challenge to our supporters in the hope that they might donate £10 to the hospice when they’re finished.”
There’s no need to sign up, simply complete the seven-day Meatless Challenge and donate your money at this address: www.standre.ws/help.
It’s as easy as one, two, PEA!
Also coming up at the hospice is ‘Seeds in Shops’. The hospice is hoping to remind customers that they are open and ready for business by giving away De Ree brand bee and butterfly-friendly seeds in selected shops, all in time for World Bee Day, on May 20, which is also the final day of the hospice’s Your Community, Your Planet campaign.
Seeds in Shops runs from May 18-20 and can be found at St Andrew’s Hospice shops in Freshney Place, St Peter’s Avenue, Cleethorpes, Immingham and Bradley Cross Roads. There is a limited number available, so you’ll have to be quick! To get your freebie, all you have to do is pop in and say “save the bees” but if you feel like adding extra flair by buzzing around the shop as well, staff will be poised and ready to take pictures with their mobiles!
Follow www.facebook.com/StAndrewsHospice, www.instagram.com/standrewshospicegrimsby, @HelpStAndrews on Twitter and www.linkedin.com/company/st-andrews-hospice-grimsby for current and future events.