Oxfam announced today that it would suspend all sales of second hand goods from its online shop, and phase out collections of donated items, from tonight (Monday) to protect the health of staff, volunteers and the public.
It follows the decision last Wednesday to close all high street shops until the heightened danger posed by the coronavirus has passed. Some staff had been due to continue working to keep the online shop operating, and to process donations of goods.
This temporary pause only applies to second hand items, and customers can continue to place online orders of new goods from the Sourced by Oxfam range for now, as these are processed at a facility where social distancing measures can be implemented. They can also continue ordering Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift cards.
Oxfam said it was aiming to collect all goods donated to date in the coming days, but asked members of the public not to leave donations at banks or outside shops, and instead to hold onto them until operations resume.
Anne Webb, Oxfam’s Deputy Trading Director, said: “Our online shop relies on our amazing staff and volunteers to list, pack and post thousands of second hand items. We must prioritise the well–being of our people, and the communities they live in, by urging them to stay at home.
“Sadly this also means we will be suspending collections of second hand goods from our network of donation points across the country. We are asking the public to please hang onto goods until we are able to start collecting again – their generosity makes Oxfam’s work fighting poverty around the world possible.
“We would like to thank our loyal customers and our family of dedicated volunteers and staff. We look forward to resuming normal service as soon as possible.”
The Oxfam Online Shop stocks over 100,000 second hand products from clothes and rare books to furniture and music. Oxfam said it would contact customers with outstanding orders to arrange a refund in the coming days. Last year, Oxfam’s shops raised £17.4 million after costs for its work fighting poverty and helping people survive humanitarian emergencies.
Notes to editors:
– Oxfam’s unique Sourced By Oxfam range of ethically sourced new products are carefully selected by our team of buyers who search for pioneering suppliers who put people before profit and produce quality products with the emphasis on small-scale production and sustainable materials.
– Read more about Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift cards
– The proceeds of sales from the Oxfam Online Shop and high street shops support the charity’s work to end the injustice of poverty around the world.
– Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal – an end to the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor. And we won’t stop until we get there. Join us!