New beginnings: Salvation Army Op Shop volunteer Phyllis Taylor and staff member Graham Ettridge with reject clothing that will be sent to Africa.
New beginnings: Salvation Army Op Shop volunteer Phyllis Taylor and staff member Graham Ettridge with reject clothing that will be sent to Africa. Rob Wright

Deal provides for African families

CLOTHING not used by locals but still wearable now finds its way to Africa to help struggling families thanks to a deal struck between the Salvation Army and One-Ten Enterprises.

Former Port Macquarie Salvation Army Thrift store manager Michael Lord is the managing director of Michris Solutions, which brokered the deal worth $1.5m a year to the Salvation Army to salvage goods previously dumped as landfill.

Mr Lord explained how the scheme worked to the regional meeting of Salvation Army officers in Coffs Harbour yesterday.

“The Salvos want people to come in and get things they’d be proud to wear. For welfare clients, they wouldn’t want to give things to them that are not shop worthiness,” he said.

“If something is missing a button or has a few stains, or is pitted, then that’s all acceptable for One-Ten Enterprises but it’s not up to regulations in Australia.

“What happens is that any stock that is extra to needs or not up to regulations in Australia gets sent in big bales (then) it is re-sorted, cleaned, repaired and classified into men’s, women’s and children’s clothing.

“It then ends up in Madagascar, Mozambique or Tanzania where they sell to wholesalers who set up markets.”

As a charitable act, another 15-30 tonnes of clothing each month goes to Africa’s poorest villages, where single parent families have no access to welfare support.

“In Mozambique, the people who receive it have three options, they can wear what fits them, they can swap it with other people in the village, or they themselves can set up market stalls, which is what they usually do, and sell enough to feed themselves until they come back the next month.

“All that stock that used to go to landfill now goes to developing a community and is providing the means for people to earn a living. Unless (donated goods) are utter, utter rubbish, it does not end up in landfill.”



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