The boss of a Suffolk recycling business has voiced concern at rogue operators who give the industry a bad name.
Malcolm McKenzie, who runs Stowmarket based Cash 4 Clothing Suffolk, said operators who failed to pay fair prices and trade ethically were giving legitimate businesses like his a bad name.
We were inspired to start our company after we visited a cash for clothes outlet and were horrified by the poor standard of customer service.Malcolm McKenzie
His comments follow a BBC investigation by Rip Off Britain that alleged the recycled clothing industry, worth £380 million a year, was being monopolised by firms using cut-throat tactics.
Mr McKenzie said: “There are lots of businesses like ours in the UK but unfortunately not all have the same standards. We were inspired to start our company after we visited a cash for clothes outlet and were horrified by the poor standard of customer service.”
Mr McKenzie says he not only insists on offering customers a fair price, he is also investing in the local economy by employing local people, investing in apprentices and trading ethically.
Cash 4 Clothing Suffolk pays customers for unwanted garments, by the kilo or, for valuable high fashion brands, and offers a consignment sale service.
The business is one of a number of firms recognising the value of secondhand or “pre-loved” clothing – and following on the back of similar enterprises dealing in unwanted gold, CDs and mobile phones.
Mr McKenzie said: “Not everyone has the time or patience to attend a car boot sale in the chilly early morning, or list a lot of items for sale online and for those people who place a premium on their time there are easier ways to release cash from your old clothes.
“You also have the comfort of knowing that your clothing is being resold responsibly and enjoyed by people all over the world.”