The 2017 #GiftABundle campaign successfully redistributed 20,000 pieces of high-quality baby clothing to 2,000 UK families struggling to pay bills. #GiftABundle was delivered with support from 13 Mothercare stores and supported 28 local charities. The online campaign providing tips for extending the life of baby clothing reached 1.7 million people. What did we learn from the campaign?

1) The importance of Mother’s Day as a hook

A whopping 183 million items of outgrown baby clothing are stashed away in UK homes, enough to provide over 250 items for every baby born in the UK each year. This clothing is often of high quality and has loads of wear left in it. Families have probably forgotten that they have these lovely clothes tucked away and just need a gentle nudge encouraging them to declutter and gift it to local families in need.
Mother’s Day is the perfect time to provide this nudge. #GiftABundle encouraged mums to get together to create beautiful bundles of clothing for giving to other mums.

2) Personalisation

Baby clothes can have significant emotional value. Mothers have seen their children grow up in them and they can hold strong memories. #GiftABundle sought to recognise this importance by allowing mothers to write personalised messages on the bundles they created. This element is usually missed when donating to charity shops where the process is depersonalised with clothing dumped in bags in a back room of the shop.

One of the benefits of personalising the gift is that the quality of donated clothing is high, thus increasing the value for the receiving family.

3) The retailer’s role

Mothercare’s involvement through their 13 stores was essential. They promoted #GiftABundle, distributed the gift bags and acted as the collection point for the returned bundles. However, working with a retailer has challenges. Staff are phenomenally busy, space is at a premium and communication with employees not always easy.

A key role for Hubbub was to be sensitive to these restraints and to construct the project in such a way that it was easy for Mothercare to deliver and didn’t negatively impact on core business.

4) The difficulty of giving away bundles

You would have thought it would be easy to give away high-quality bundles of clothing to families who need a bit of support in the UK. It isn’t. Most of the large charities have shops from which they generate an income and were reluctant to get involved in a campaign that freely donated clothing to UK beneficiaries.

Instead, Hubbub had to find and work with 28 local organisations who were directly supporting families in their locality. This was time-consuming and administratively complex but it did enable us to guarantee that clothing was donated to UK families which was a central promise of #GiftABundle.

5) Scalability

#GiftABundle was delivered in 13 Mothercare stores. Our experience suggests that the approach could be extended nationwide and that ‘How to Guides’ could be created to help community groups deliver their own version.

Hubbub would like to see #GiftABundle become integral to Mother’s Day, giving mums an opportunity to support families in their local community.  Whether this is possible is dependent on Mothercare or another retailer deciding to get involved at a time when pressures on their resources are significant. We shall see what happens.

Read more about #GiftABundle. If you want to see clothing redistribution happening in your community or business, get in touch.