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Eco-friendly clothes firm moves to Leicestershire Business Park

The company has helped to raise more than £250,000 for UK charities

Joe Metcalfe
Joe Metcalfe

An eco-friendly firm selling unwanted clothes online is hoping its new base at a £5.2m industrial park in Market Harborough is a good fit for the future.

We developed Airfield Business Park to boost business and employment opportunities in the town. 

We invested in Airfield Business Park as part of our Corporate Asset Investment Fund, which aims to improve the local economy and generate income for frontline services.

Thrift+, which is a clothing donation service and online retailer, moved into the unit on the business park in June as part of plans to expand its operation. 

Joe Metcalfe, who started the company in 2017, moved the business from its base in Northampton to expand the business. 

He said: “We weren’t in Northampton for a long time as we are growing rapidly and needed more space. 

“I also wanted it to be a modern development to match our own ethos as an innovative start-up. So Airfield Business Park was perfect.

"It was important to be close to a train station for those of us who live in London and I was excited for our warehouse to be near Market Harborough for places to go for team social events."

The company, which accepts clothing from both individuals and businesses, then sorts, photographs and uploads them, before selling online, will be operating out of two units totalling 30,000 sq. ft.

Joe said: “We will use one of the units for processing and sorting second hand clothes. The other will be used for storage – once we are at scale we will hold over a million items in stock ready to be sold online.”

Thrift+ splits its sales income equally between the company, the donor and their chosen charity. Funds can be directed to any UK registered charity chosen by the donor.

Joe, who appeared on Dragons' Den earlier this year in the hope of gaining extra investment, said that more than £250,000 had been raised for charities since the company had started.

He said: “We have supported more than 1,000 charities and the amount we’ve helped to raise for them is brilliant. 

“Each time someone shops second hand, we are helping to reduce the demand for new clothing and items being sent to landfill.”

Now, the eco-friendly firm is looking to recruit new members of staff to meet the demand.

Joe said: “We’re hoping to recruit a further 40 people. Most of the roles will be helping us process the second-hand clothing and taking pictures. We also need people to put away the items and get them ready for delivery.

“Full training will be provided. People interested can get in touch by emailing careers@thrift.plus.”

Two high-spec 15,000 sq. ft. industrial units are still available at Airfield Business Park.

I’m delighted to see Thrift+ move to Airfield Business Park. 

“Supporting businesses is important, particularly in the current climate, as it helps boost our local economy and creates jobs. 

“Thrift+ is playing a part in tackling climate change, which is one of our top priorities. 

“The move proves how attractive the county is as a place to not only work, but live, invest and socialise.

The 12 units at Airfield Business Park feature 692 solar panels. In the first year these panels are expected to have reduced carbon emissions by around 79.4 tonnes – the equivalent of a car travelling 238,000 miles.

Several companies have shown an interest in renting the units, with seven out of 12 available having already been let and another three reserved by prospective tenants. 

For more information on renting the available units call 0116 254 0382 or email Reg Pollock at rp@apbleicester.co.uk, James Phillips at jmp@apbleicester.co.uk or call 01536 483 400 or email Amanda Lawrence at alawrence@budworthhardcastle.com

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