Home > Charity, Economics > Why Can You Never Find Male Clothes At Charity Shops?

Why Can You Never Find Male Clothes At Charity Shops?

DO YOU MIND!!!    (explore)

I recently began volunteering at my local charity shop and while I sat at the till I realised that the shop could quickly be turned into a ladies-only shop; there are only two racks for male clothes. Now being an economist, I put it down to either demand or supply problems. On the demand side, if there are no male shoppers and an abundance of female shoppers, charity shops will have no need to put male clothing on sale, no matter how many are donated. They will also need the space to cater for the numerous female shoppers. On the supply side, without donations of male clothing stocking the shop’s backroom, they cannot sell them (pretty obvious).

I think the answer is both, but mainly on the supply side. On the demand side, yes, fewer men shop at charity shops. Yesterday, of the almost 50 people who came into the shop, just 3-5 were men. This could be due to numerous reasons including: men rarely go shopping, and the inability of the male ego to be seen in things that don’t lead to bankruptcy etc.

On the supply side, men just don’t bring in many clothes and from my experience (& my family’s), I can suggest that we hardly ever think about giving clothes to charity. We might and we do give money to charity, but the thought of going through drawers and checking beneath beds to find that t-shirt that X gave us never comes to mind and is too amenable to memory loss. There is also the male tendency to own fewer clothes and to wear them more frequently and for much longer than women. My mum has had to become my dad’s wardrobe archivist, informing him that the shirt he really likes is now 5 years old and is due for a change. Due to the tendency to keep clothes for longer, the clothes men (or their partners) do donate tend to be worn out and cannot be sold (remember they are shops).

How do I know that the supply side is the major cause? Well I asked.


Male clothes are scarce at charity shops because,

  • fewer men go into charity shops,
  • men don’t donate clothes (and/or household materials) to charities,
  • men wear their few clothes longer making them unable to be sold due to wear and tear.

So men, wherever we are, there are people who need those clothes. We need to get off our bums, look for those clothes we haven’t worn in a while, pick out those we could do without and take them to our nearest charity shop (Google).

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