Commercial Clothing Collections

The Council will usually only allow one commercial clothing collection to take place per month where no National Exemption Order is held.  Where a charity carries out its own collections without third party involvement, these may be licensed at the same time as an NEO collection if there is space available in the diary.  We will not usually licence a commercial clothing collection at any time where nationally exempted charities are also carrying out a clothing collection.  This is in accordance with our Charity Collections Policy 2017-2020.  Each application is treated on its merits.

COVID-19 additional information and guidance


Street and House to House Collections


We have now lifted the restrictions on charitable collections and any licences that were granted pre-lockdown are reactivated and we are now taking new applications. However, please be aware that due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines:

  • we can usually only issue permits for up to 4 collectors at a time

  • you must take extra measures to ensure the safety of yourselves and those around you

  • it is your responsibility to comply with guidance issued by central Government, please note that whilst we are happy to receive a copy of any risk assessments with your application we are not able to sanction them as being 'covid compliant'

  • non-compliance with social distancing guidelines is enforceable by the HSE

Please follow the current coronavirus guidance around collecting issued by central Government and/or Public Health England. You may find the guidance issued by the Fundraising Regulator and/or Institute of Fundraising of assistance.

For further guidance, please check the regular updates provided by Central Government and the Charity Commission:

Institute of Fundraising website


Some collections do not need a licence. Unlicensed collections and those pending approval are listed below.


Unlicensed companies/charities

The following commercial clothing collection companies and/or charities have been refused permission to collect in Runnymede within the last 7 years:

  • Intersecond Ltd - 2015
  • Byronswell Ltd - 2013

Information received from residents (usually collection bags being delivered to residents) suggests that the following commercial clothing collection companies and/or charities could be operating in Runnymede without a licence -

  • Your Donation Ltd (Boot out Breast Cancer) - June 2019
  • Giving Support Limited (Breast Cancer Research Aid) - July 2020

We have also been advised by East London Textiles that they have ended their contractual arrangement with Leukaemia Care and Kidney Research UK but some 'fake and bogus' bags have been reported and East London Textiles 'will actively involve the relevant Police service and all other regulatory body to ensure that the unlawful distribution or discard of such bags is stopped.' Please report any such sightings to us.


Pending applications and licences not granted

The following applications have been received within the last 12 months but no licence has been granted.  This could be because further information has been requested from the applicant and is still being considered.

  • Audosta Ltd (Woodlands Cancer Care) - application October 2018; not granted owing to no available dates for the period applied for. 
  • UK Clothing Caravan (Blesma - application November 2019; not granted owing to no available dates for the period applied for. 
  • Your Donation Ltd (Boot out Breast Cancer) - application August 2018; not granted owing to no available dates for the period applied for. 
  • Street Runners Ltd (Kent Association for the Blind, Rainbow Trust, Rockinghorse Children's Charity) - application August 2018. No licence issued.


Compliance Guidance for Commercial Participators (Commercial Clothing Collections)

The Committee of Advertising Practice has published Icon for pdf guidance [494.12KB] which explains how commercial participators should amend their advertising on charity bags to comply with a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority which requires commercial participants to communicate their name and company status on both sides of the bag.  If the bag features a charity's name it must not be given greater prominence than the name of the company undertaking the collection.  Commercial clothing collection companies were required to amend their advertising by 2 June 2017.

Those who are unable or unwilling to follow the rules may be referred by the ASA to Trading Standards under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The House of Commons published a briefing paper called Bogus Charity Clothing Collections in May 2017.

The Fundraising Regulator published article on Clothing Collections.

If you are unsure whether a collection is authorised please email or telephone 01932 425627.