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CQ loves charity shops, we do.

High street retailers aren't the only ones feeling the credit crunch. Charity shops in the UK are also being affected by the recession, some bargain hunters might be flocking to their favourite chazza shozza but in the current economic climate donations are decreasing as people prefer to sell off their unwanted clothes.

Cancer Research's trading director Simon Ledsham told the Guardian recently: "As reusing clothes and sourcing second-hand items becomes more popular, our shops are struggling to keep up with demand and are desperate for people to bring in good quality items that can be re-sold to raise money for the charity's important work."

David Moir, head of policy at my favourite association, the Association of Charity Shops, said: "When people are worried and money is tight, people tend to hoard. While we are getting reports from some members of increased demand, the main effect (of recession) is that people are not replacing their existing clothes."

As well as decreased donations some stores are also seeing a reduction in shoppers, one charity shop in Wiltshire has resorted to a 'pay what you can afford' scheme to attract shoppers. Customers at the Sue Ryder in Melksham can't get anything for free, but will be able to suggest a donation.

Oxfam's Rob McNeill reminds us all why we need to donate in the first place: "Our donations are starting to decline and demand for products is up, so we are saying to people: 'Please, please bring your unused stuff to us.' Even if you're feeling broke, getting rid of stuff that doesn't fit, or you don't like, and freeing up space in your cupboard can literally save lives."

[Source]