More than 2 months ago, our country went into lockdown.
Pubs, Bars and Restaurants took their last orders, Schools shut their gates indefinitely and pretty much every single fashion retailer on the High Street shut their doors to business.
Lockdown took us into a period of unknown which was fuelled by fear and anxiety. At the time, we didn’t know much about what was going on and we didn’t know how long this would go on for, but as we watched our European neighbours fight the same battle, we were sure this would be a long fight. It was now apparent that the changes imposed on us and the way we lived our lives were about to change for months, maybe even years.
As we adjusted to this new way of living, pubs and restaurants began to find new creative ways to sell their supplies- some producing meals for NHS workers and charities – others turning to delivery only kitchens. Clothing retailers shut their shop doors to business, some halted online orders and closed warehouses, furloughed staff and cancelled supplier orders. Some clothing retailers have even gone into administration since lockdown started – with hundreds and hundreds of jobs being lost in the industry. With summer holidays being pretty much cancelled, a new summer wardrobe was no longer necessary. With offices shut, we no longer needed smart office appropriate clothes. In fact, most people dragged the jogging bottoms, sweaters, hoodies, leggings and active wear out from the back of their wardrobe – this was our new outfit. To put it simply, we had no need for new clothes and therefore, we were no longer buying them.
On the surface, this all seemed perfectly fine. In fact, lots of people were struggling financially and so not spending money on new clothes seemed like a very sensible idea. But amongst all our money saving and wardrobe reusing tactics, we seem to have forgotten about everyone else along the textile supply chain.
When we stopped purchasing clothes, retailers began to suffer. They began to cancel orders with their suppliers – cancelling orders for both the current season and the next season. In fact it has been reported that nearly £2.4bn worth of textile orders were cancelled from factories in Bangladesh alone. A huge knock-on effect was about to begin, impacting the factory workers and their families. Overnight, and with the click of a button, we reduced the salaries of the factory workers to almost zero. And, most of the stock that was ready to be dispatched to our high streets were now destined for landfill – which would have had huge environmental consequences.
That was until the team over at Mallzee stepped in and produced a concept that would help these factory workers and their families survive with no or little income – and, at the same time, prevent hundreds and thousands of textiles entering landfill sites.
That concept was Lost Stock.
It’s simple, you pay £35 (plus £3.99 shipping) for a box of clothing which contains at least 3 items which would sell for £75 in the UK. Each box is tailored to your size and gender, and offers you a selection of preferred colours and patterns. Once purchased, 37% of the price is donated to The Sajida Foundation which works to deliver food and essential hygiene products to factory workers and their families across 26 districts in Bangladesh. So far, over 85,000 boxes have been purchased and over 50,000 households have already been supported across Bangladesh, and this is in just a few weeks.
Your Lost Stock Box:
Transaction Charge: 3%
Our Staff Costs, Marketing & Returns: 9%
Product Costs: 30%
Transport and Logistics: 9%
Our NGO Partner, SAJIDA Foundation: 37%
*Data taken from www.loststock.com
It is truly inspirational what the team at Mallzee are doing and I honestly hope everyone can try to get involved in one way or another. We know that times are tough for everyone at the moment and £35 can be a big ask, so we’ve listed a few creative ways you can help the initiative.
- Purchase a box for yourself. Click here.
- Gift a box to a friend or family member for their birthday.
- Share their Instagram Posts on your Stories.
- Tell your friends and family members about the concept.
- Retweet their posts on Twitter.
- And don’t forget to share this article to help spread the word.