KIND-hearted customers have turned their unwanted clothes and shoes into more than £12,000 for charity, thanks to a partnership between the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust and Salvation Army Trading Company Ltd (SATCoL).

SATCoL introduced clothing banks into St Austell Brewery pub car parks in January 2013, and now operates 54 banks around Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Since 2013, over 30 tonnes of clothes has been collected – which has turned into £12,248.44 to be split equally between the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust and SATCoL, which gift-aids profits to help fund the work of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army Clothing Collection Scheme started in 1991 and has since grown into the UK’s leading recycling scheme. All good quality textiles, clothing and linen can be recycled, including towels, sheets, blankets and pairs of shoes, as long as they are clean. Items that are not suitable for reuse are sent to make mattress filling, insulation and soundproofing for cars.

Clothing donated to SATCoL’s banks is either sold in its network of charity shops, used to help meet humanitarian needs identified by The Salvation Army, or exported to countries where affordable Western fashion is highly sought after, such as Eastern Europe.

Profit from the sale of clothing is gift-aided to The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland to help fund its valuable work in communities throughout the country, which includes homelessness services, elderly care, assistance at emergency incidents and much, much more.

Julian Sharpe, Area Representative at SATCoL, said: “SATCoL is working with St Austell Brewery to encourage textile recycling by its employees and those who visit its premises across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“We are grateful for the generous donations we have received so far and hope the bank will continue to provide employees, visitors and local residents with a way to recycle unwanted clothes while providing valuable support to The Salvation Army and St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust.

“Each tonne of textiles that’s reused or recycled instead of thrown away prevents 7 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions and reduces the amount of unnecessary waste sent to landfill. Profit raised from donations also helps to fund The Salvation Army’s valuable work in communities across the UK so donating your unwanted clothing and textiles really can make a difference.”

Ian Blunt, Chairman of the St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust, said: “We have been delighted to work with SATCoL on this fantastic scheme. When people donate their unwanted clothes in this way they really are giving twice – because the clothes are reused and money is donated to local charities. It couldn’t be better.”

The St Austell Brewery Charitable Trust has raised over £400,000 since it was started in 2003, with donations going to well-known charities including Children’s Hospice South West, local good causes and individuals who need help.

Money is raised by individual pubs and employees through events such as darts tournaments, sponsored walks and quizzes, plus the annual Celtic Beer Festival.