Internationally acclaimed charity fashion initiative ‘The Empty Shop,’ is to return to Manchester Arndale later this month, providing shoppers with a stylish outlet to donate pre-loved clothing in support of the city’s homeless and deprived.
The official ambassador for the project in 2016 is Hollyoaks’ Ashley Taylor-Dawson, who will be joined by local fashion bloggers and stylists in Exchange Court on Wednesday 20 January to launch the 2016 campaign, which raises awareness and vital funding for homeless charity Mustard Tree.
From 22 – 31 January, members of the public, local businesses and retailers will be able to drop off their quality pre-loved and unworn garments at ‘empty wardrobes’ conveniently located within Manchester Arndale retail stores including Next, Superdry, Quiz and Jack & Jones. The donation points will be open for ten days and at the end of the campaign the clothing will either be sold at exclusive sales events or will be donated directly to disadvantaged people in Manchester by Mustard Tree with the proceeds providing much needed support to the city’s homeless and impoverished population.
On his role as ambassador for the project, Ashley comments “We all have clothing that we don’t wear anymore, or was a ‘must-have’ purchase at the time; then sits there in the wardrobe with the tags still on. The Empty Shop is the perfect opportunity to spring clean your closet and transform someone’s life for the better. My character in Hollyoaks has worn some questionable outfits at times; I’ll definitely be raiding the Hollyoaks’ wardrobe department and putting a few of Darren’s shirts to good use!”
More than 15,800 items of clothing have been donated over the last two years, including over £45,000 worth of brand new items from N Brown Group PLC, AKA clothing, SimonandSimon and luxury boutique Black White Denim. The project has garnered numerous industry accolades, including the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) Community Foundation Award, and this year has been nominated for the prestigious Albert Sussman International Community support award; the industry’s highest honour.
David Allinson, Centre Director at Manchester Arndale said; “The international recognition ‘The Empty Shop’ has received in 2014 and 2015 is a testament to the people of Manchester and their generosity. We hope to be able to build on the success of the past two years by maintaining the project in a sustainable way.
By providing several collection points at a number of different locations within the centre the aim is to make it more accessible for visitors to the centre; encouraging more spontaneous donations, and engaging as many people as possible.”
This Empty Shop launch will take place on Wednesday 20 January 2016, and take clothing donations from Thursday 22 January- 31 January 2016. For further information visit: www.manchesterarndale.com.