Happy Mondays and X Factor singer Rowetta officially launched The Empty Shop 2017 at Manchester Arndale last night (19 January 2017). The VIP event was hosted by local singer songwriter, blogger and star of First Dates, Jsky. Bloggers and stylists joined Rowetta and Jsky in Exchange Court along with fantastic local artist Dave Draws, who illustrated 12 wardrobes and a limited-edition tote bag especially for this year’s campaign.
In its fourth year consecutive year, The Empty Shop has teamed up with Rowetta and the Musicians Against Homelessness initiative to raise the profile of the project and encourage people to donate pre-loved clothing in support of charity partners Mustard Tree and Goodstock by vInspired.
On her role as ambassador, Rowetta said, ‘I’m honoured to have been asked to be the official ambassador for The Empty Shop 2017. I’m in awe of the work that Mustard Tree does in our community and the issue of homelessness is something that is close to my heart following my involvement with Musicians Against Homelessness. It’s also fantastic to see a second charity on board for 2017. Goodstock by vInspired is an incredible initiative as it encourages the youth of tomorrow to volunteer their time within their local community and give back. I really hope that the people of Manchester can dig deep and donate to The Empty Shop and I’ll be encouraging my colleagues and friends to do the same.’
As well as a personal donation from Rowetta, The Empty Shop received substantial donations from retailers and local businesses at the launch event. N Brown Group PLC, which has a Simply Be store at the shopping centre, donated £56,000 worth of brand new stock and Manchester based design and app development agency Dreamr, co-ordinated a generous donation from their clients of £13,000 of brand new items. A further £10,000 of clothing was donated by other local businesses.
The Empty Shop invites Mancunians to donate their quality pre-loved and unworn garments in one of twelve ‘empty wardrobes’ at participating Manchester Arndale retail stores for ten days between January 20 and January 29. As a further incentive, retailers will offer discounts or a prize draw entry to shoppers making donations in store. (*check store for details)
Mustard Tree Communications Manager Soraya Sheikh said “We are overwhelmed with the support that Manchester Arndale and the people of Manchester have been able to provide to what is becoming an epidemic; not just in Manchester but all over the UK. Year on year The Empty Shop initiative exceeds all expectations as our local community go over and above. I am hopeful that 2017 will echo, and exceed previous year’s numbers.”
vInspired Partnerships Manager Tim Charlton said “It’s so important, now more than ever, to encourage younger members of our community to volunteer their time to those less fortunate and to help them understand that they really can make a difference. We are thrilled to join The Empty Shop family in its fourth year and are honoured to be involved in such a worthwhile event that really does give back.”
David Allinson, Centre Director for Manchester Arndale said; “It’s fantastic that The Empty Shop has been recognised internationally whilst also capturing the interest and charitable nature of Manchester residents. We have been consistently overwhelmed by the generous donations from shoppers, brands and retailers across the city and the impact this has on raising awareness and support for our charity partners.’’
The Empty Shop donation points will take pre-loved clothing donations from Friday 20 January- Sunday 29 January 2017 at 12 Manchester Arndale retailers:
- Dorothy Perkins
- Jack & Jones
- New Look
- Simply Be
For further information visit: www.manchesterarndale.com.