Home > Talking Pants > Talking Pants – February 2021

Total underwear collected is 1,544,261

Many thanks to everyone who continues to support Smalls. We received 4,081 parcels in January! Our sorting volunteers are eager to get back to start tackling the wee backlog that’s built up; hopefully it won’t be too long and I know, given what a hard-working bunch they are, that we’ll be up to date very quickly.

We’ve recently registered with Recyle4Charity which offers a free and easy-to-use ink recycling programme. At no cost to you, we’ll receive a cash donation when you recycle your ink cartridge through Recycle4Charity. It’s not only an easy way to raise funds, it helps protect the environment too! To send your cartridges or start collecting for us, click here – http://www.recycle4charity.co.uk/Register/C102202

Although our warehouse is still closed to our volunteers at the moment (we’re still taking deliveries of your donations), we were delighted to provide underwear to 3 organisations since our last Talking Pants:

  • 500 pairs of new pants to Action in Africa for their hygiene kits, which will be going to Nyaishozi, Tanzania.
  • 200 pairs of new pants to Days for Girls for their hygiene kits, which will be going to Ethiopia.
  • 170 pairs of new pants to the School Bank in West Lothian.

On Monday 8 February, we ran a ‘myth-busting poll’ on our Facebook and Instagram stories. Thank you to all those who took part. It’s really important to us that people have an accurate picture of the work we do and why, and that we can use what people send us. There were 3 main areas that were highlighted as needing clarification.

  • Many of those who took part think providing underwear to women in Africa prevents rape. When I first set up Smalls, I had read and heard things that suggested this. Indeed, many people – including other charities we’ve come across – do believe that having underwear can deter sexual assault. However, we haven’t seen any evidence one way or the other, and this is not why we collect it. We collect underwear for reasons of dignity and, for example, to help women and girls deal with their periods, as pants are vital for accommodating period products.
  • Almost a third of those who took the quiz thought we collected socks, vests and other garments. We collect ONLY NEW pants for adults and children. We don’t collect worn pants, even if only worn once or in perfect condition. We also collect new and gently worn (laundered) bras. We don’t collect well-worn bras or any other types of clothing or underclothing. Some people also think we collect period products and toiletries. Although we don’t collect period products, we do supply pants to charities and organisations that make up hygiene kits. For example, Days for Girls UK, Freedom4girls and Action in Africa among others.
  • Some of the people who took part in our myth-busting quiz thought that all the underwear we collect goes to Africa. The majority of it certainly does. However, in 2019 our constitution changed to allow us to provide underwear to those in need in the UK too. The need may be less, but it’s still very real. So we also help charities that focus on alleviating poverty in the UK. For example, school uniform banks, refuges and charities that support the homeless.

If you’re thinking of sending us donations of underwear, please make sure:

  • you have the correct address (Five Sisters Business Park, Westwood, West Calder, EH55 8PN)
  • you’ve enclosed your email address if you’d like an acknowledgement email.

Many thanks