Today we are holding our flagship event, The Charity Retail Ireland Gathering in the Rediscovery Centre. This is a great example of how the Charity Retail Sector lives the word collaboration. There will be a great buzz in the room as our members meet up and exchange stories, skills and expertise. 

World Café

As part of this meeting we will hold a World Café, which is a way to facilitate a large group dialogue so that everyone gets to make a contribution. We choose subjects that are wicked problems for us or look at the future of our sector. Our subjects for discussion this year are:

  • Volunteering – a new reality
  • How to manage donations effectively to maximise their value 
  • Retail innovation – the changing face of charity retail

We split up into tables of about 10 people and have 20 minutes to discuss each topic, guided by a facilitator. When the bell goes after 20 minutes everyone (except the facilitator) moves to the next table, half going clockwise and half going anti-clockwise. This ensures that you are with a new group of people each time and that you get to contribute on each topic. 

It is a bit chaotic but great fun and a really good way to encourage collaboration and look at a problem in a new light. Also many don’t know which is clockwise and which is anti- clockwise but it doesn’t really matter. What is important is that there is an open and free discussion and nothing is off the table, pardon the pun!

Corporate Partnership

Last year we launched our Corporate Partnership Programme. This provides a unique opportunity for businesses to connect and work with our charity members while showing their support for charity retail and conscious consumption. 

Charity Retail has been at the forefront of sustainable fashion and conscious consumption in Ireland for decades, before sustainability was even a concept. More than ever people are questioning what they are buying and are looking for greener ways to shop. Charity shops provide a ready alternative for fast fashion, furniture and homeware with the added benefit of supporting a worthwhile cause. Our sector provides:

  • Much needed funds for charities delivering essential services in communities nationally and internationally
  • Upskilling for people distant from the workforce
  • Volunteering opportunities that support inclusion and help to prevent isolation
  • Carbon emission savings by extending the life of goods through their reuse

We’re delighted that seven companies have started this partnership journey with us. If your company would like to join them, you can find out more about our Corporate Partnerships here

Other Collaborations

Our members collaborate every year to provide the raw data for our Charity Impact Report being launched today at our Gathering Event. This year we have data repersenting 81% of our members’ shops – collaboration in action.

Many of our members also have collaborations for stock with clothing retailers and take surplus or remaindered stock from them. This is a win win as often this product is hard to dispose of for the retailer and could end up in landfill. And charity shops get new product which is often of great value to them. 

SDG’s and Collaboration

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. Learn more about the 17 SDG’s in this short video

SDG no 17 is Partnership for the Goals and stresses the importance of collaboration to achieve the other 16 goals. It is in this spirit that we can all take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and build a sustainable world for us all.

We will move from that lofty notion to how charity shops are contributing to more conscious consumption over the next 3 days when we look at the Impact of Charity Retail.