In the UK, we have more than 6,000 charity shops. Often High Streets are overflowing with them. Oxfam alone has 750 outlets. Charity shops help recycle our old possessions while at the same time feeding the poor in many countries or paying for research into deadly diseases. The only one that has successfully established itself in France is Emmaus, but you won’t find any charity shops in the town centre. Empty shops in the UK can be rented cheaply as a landlord would rather have a low rental than have an empty shop that could be vandalised. VAT is not paid on donated goods. Emmaus shops in France are found in out-of-town locations on industrial estates where rents are lower. Clothing bins are to be found in supermarket carparks. The better quality clothes are resold, others are sent to poorer countries, but a lot of clothes, depending on the charity, are shredded to make loft insulation.

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