Homeless charity encourages shoppers to ditch Black Friday to support homelessness relief and the environment
- Credit: Archant
A Hertfordshire homeless charity is supporting an ethical alternative to Black Friday this year.
Emmaus Hertfordshire is calling on people across the county to ditch Black Friday and instead support ‘Buy Nothing New Day’, held this year on November 27.
Buy Nothing New Day aims to raise awareness of consumerism and encourage customers to shop more ethically, using their spending power to have a positive impact.
Emmaus Hertfordshire supports up to 39 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion and fundraises through its social enterprises. While its physical shops in St Albans and Harpenden are closed until next week, the charity is selling items online.
Chris lives at Emmaus Hertfordshire after losing his job and home at the start of the pandemic. “When COVID-19 arrived my work dried up,” he said.
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“I lost the place I was living and, as I wasn’t earning any money, I couldn’t find anywhere else to live. I slept rough in London for four months and it was really hard.
“The support at Emmaus Hertfordshire is great. It’s been a good six months. I have somewhere to sleep at night, I have food, I have the other companions to have a natter to.
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“I work in the Emmaus Hertfordshire shops, and I enjoy that. It’s has helped me a hell of a lot. It has given me a real purpose. I’d like to thank everyone who has donated items to us to sell, and to all the customers who visit our shops or buy from us online.”
John Chesters, chief executive of Emmaus Hertfordshire, said: “At Emmaus we’ve known for a long time that second-hand does not mean lower quality, and now we are seeing a real move towards more people choosing to buy pre-loved and completely unique upcycled items. Our supporters donate some amazing items, from designer clothing and accessories through to solid wood furniture so there is always something amazing to be found by browsing our shops or by visiting our eBay shop.
“When you buy from an Emmaus shop you are not only supporting us with the work we do with formerly homeless people here in Hertfordshire, but you are also significantly reducing the amount of items that end up in landfill each year, and paying a lot less for them – it’s a win-win situation!”