Kids Love Clothes is an entirely volunteer-led charity. Based in Ratho, we have a team of dedicated trustees and an army of wonderful volunteers, right across the Lothians. The families we help live locally, and sadly, the need for our service is growing all the time.
Fiona Shapcott set up the Kids Love Clothes initiative in late 2009, operating from home and around her full-time job. Working with a small network of parents and referral organizations within Edinburgh and the Lothians, it became apparent that there was a real and growing need for the service. In 2013, Kids Love Clothes was awarded charity status and is now supported by a wonderful set of trustees and volunteers.
Ironathon at Edinburgh Climbing Arena. Photo: Niels Calvert
To date, we have helped tens of thousands of local kids who need our service, all across Edinburgh and the Lothians. Each bag weighs around 3.5kg, so by reusing the clothes, thousands of kg of textiles has avoided going straight to landfill. The bags themselves are made from recycled material and are fully recyclable. Nothing donated is wasted – what we can’t use is passed on to other charities and organisations. The very small amount of donated clothing that just can’t be reworn is sent to Rag Bag for recycling.
Our core team
Maisie the Mascot
How it Works
Clothes are donated by people locally, to one of our many drop-off points across the EH area. We collect and store the clothes at our unit in Ratho, where we sort into age and gender every single bag. We work via referrals from professionals working with families, such as health visitors, midwives, social workers and others. For each referral, we choose a whole wardrobe’s worth of clothes for that child. Then the clothes are ironed, folded and packaged into beautiful giftbags, ready for delivery back to the referring professional. Giftbags are free, and the recipients receive quality clothes that have been put together with care and attention. Anything we can’t use is passed on to other charitable organisations, so nothing is wasted.
The journey of the clothes…
The mum was “blown away” by the clothes, and holding back tears. It was lovely for me to be able to hand over the clothes, particularly as things have been very difficult since her change of circumstance. She also commented on how beautiful the clothes smelled. This is a lady who has extremely high personal hygiene standards. Thank you again; the clothes you provide are certainly “clothes with dignity”
A quick email to say a very big THANK YOU for the lovely clothes you provided for two of my service users’ children. Your support, high standard and efficient service is very valuable to us and much appreciated. Many thanks.
A huge thank you for the work you do. Our families have been delighted with the clothes saying “I got a whole outfit!” and “My son loves his slippers and trainers so much he won’t take them off once they are on his feet!”
Kids Love Clothes is a valuable and much needed resource for the HV service to access. I have used it on numerous occasions for vulnerable families on my caseload. Many of the families struggle financially, but receiving clothing enables payment of essential bills ie food/heating.
Kids Love Clothes really does live up to its name, as children love receiving the bags of good quality clothing. I remember in particular a 3year old little girl who managed to don 4 outfits (one on top of the other) within 5 minutes, because she was so excited and didn’t know which one she liked best!
Thank you very much for the beautiful quality clothing, the children’s mum was thrilled with them and she could not wait to show her son his new clothes when he came home from school. So thank you once again for providing this wonderful service.