Join the Product Giving Revolution

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Join the Product Giving Revolution

Twenty top UK manufacturers and retailers today back charity’s call to stop billions of pounds of surplus products going to waste.


Twenty leading UK manufacturers and retailers, including Amazon, L’Oréal, The Disney Store, Procter & Gamble, Pentland Brands and Colgate Palmolive are today urging fellow businesses to back charity In Kind Direct by donating their new, surplus products to charity to help people in need.

New research carried out by charity In Kind Direct, published today, reveals that 97% of CEOs of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have surplus stock – yet only 14% reprocess or recycle these goods, and less than half donate these products to charity, despite the fact three quarters (75%) say they should.

Billions of pounds of unwanted, surplus consumer goods are produced in the UK each year according to additional research carried out by PwC, on behalf of charity In Kind Direct. This demonstrates the vast scale of excess products produced and the huge opportunity this presents for product donation.

Founded 20 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales, charity In Kind Direct distributes a broad range of donated surplus consumer products to charities and community organisations across the UK.

In Kind Direct is the biggest recipient of donated non-food surplus products in the UK, yet still only accessed 1%* of total UK surplus in 2016 (*in six product categories) highlighting the huge untapped potential to put these remaining products to good use in society.

In Kind Direct and a cohort of 20 leading UK manufacturers and retailers are today urgently calling on UK businesses to become fellow donors and ‘join the product giving revolution’, integrating this simple step into their existing business practices. 

New research of 100 CEOs of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) by In Kind Direct, published today, also reveals that:

- 97% of CEOs surveyed say their company has surplus stock.

- For 1 in 12 companies, this is more than 10% of total stock.

- Less than half (46%) of these companies donate to charity, yet 75% say they should.

- One fifth (18%) send their unwanted products straight to landfill and incineration.

- Only 14% of companies reprocess or recycle this stock

- 86% of CEOs agree their company should donate products to alleviate hygiene poverty for social good.

Among those backing In Kind Direct’s call to action is former Dragon’s Den expert, and business ambassador for In Kind Direct, Sarah Willingham. Sarah says; “In business, we have astounding levels of surplus stock. Billions of pounds worth each year is destroyed, put into landfill or sold to discount retailers, which helps no one, costs money and has a terrible effect on the environment.  

“Speaking to many business leaders, I know this is something that everyone tries hard to avoid but is seen as a necessary bi-product of doing business.  At In Kind Direct we work with thousands of charities who need your products to change lives. Charities give them to people who are often living with extreme hygiene poverty and can’t afford life’s basics.  

“Please join our revolution and donate your excess stock. It is so simple and easy for your business. You will never want to throw your stock away again. It’s a no brainer!

 Robin Boles, Chief Executive of In Kind Direct, says;

“It is clear that the founding vision of In Kind Direct is as relevant today as it’s ever been. Our research by PwC shows production of surplus products runs into billions of pounds every year and it isn’t going away.

“Reduced funding for charities means they are expected to do more with less. They urgently need the products we supply. Less than half of the CEOs surveyed donate their surplus stock to charity, yet almost all said they have surplus goods.

“There’s clearly a huge opportunity to put these products to use for the good of society by donating them – helping to alleviate hygiene poverty and minimise waste.

“Surplus stock production peaks in December and January, a time of year when families are under most financial strain, in addition to struggling to afford essential personal hygiene products and food for their families.

“Our Product Giving Manifesto sets out the very simple steps retailers and manufacturers can take today to enhance their corporate social responsibility and make sure their new, surplus products reach millions of people in need.

“Donated items, which include toiletries and cleaning products, sports equipment, household goods, clothing and toys, are distributed to small charities. This enables them to keep going, manage their tight budgets, improve and enhance their services and most importantly, give products to people in need.”

Earlier this year, In Kind Direct’s research revealed that families across the UK are reporting ‘hygiene poverty’ on a vast scale - unable to afford an array of essential personal care products. With little money to cover the cost of everyday essentials, families are being forced to choose between buying food or buying personal hygiene items, such as toothpaste, nappies, washing powder, razors, deodorant and shampoo, the report found. 

Single mum, Della, age 59, receives essential hygiene and personal care products distributed by In Kind Direct, from her local charity in Merseyside, Seaforth Information Network Group (SING). Della says; I’m a single mum bringing-up my child with cerebral palsy. I work 16 hours a week on minimum wage and find it hard to make ends meet, paying the bills and keeping the house warm, plus the costs for extra showers and baths. SING has been very supportive, helping me with bed mats, which I couldn’t have afforded, and washing powder and hygiene products such as deodorant, shower gels and face cream. I have increased costs due to my child’s condition, but still have bills to pay.”

Accessing products from In Kind Direct can make a crucial difference to the number of people charities can help. Last year was a record year for the charity since operations began in 1997, with In Kind Direct distributing over £20 million in donated products to small charities in just one year.


UK-wide case studies available. For further information:

Pamela Lyddon – Bright Star Digital - 07534 500829

Lynsey Mellows – Bright Star Digital - 07792 334170

Notes to Editor

  • *PwC researched the estimated total annual surplus generated across six key product categories for In Kind Direct; babycare, personal care, homeware & kitchenware, clothing & footwear, toys & games, cleaning & laundry
  • The In Kind Direct donors who have endorsed the manifesto are:
    • Fiona Acheson  Owner & Creative Director, Acheson & Acheson
    • Ajay Kavan  Vice President International Special Projects, Amazon
    • Ben Wigley  Founder, Big Green Smile
    • Philip Durocher  General Manager, Colgate-Palmolive UK and Ireland
    • Graham Burridge  Managing Director, Disney Store Europe
    • Thea Roberts  General Manager UK & Ireland Commercial Consumer Goods, Essity 
    • Rivka Rose  Founder, Faith in Nature
    • Charlie Oulton  founder, Halo Living
    • Geoff Skingsley  Chairman, L’Oréal UK and Ireland
    • Erica Roberts  Vice President, Manhattan Toy
    • Nigyar Makhmudova  Global President, MARS Pet Nutrition
    • Rik de Vos  Chief Executive, McBride
    • Paul Wright  Chairman & Managing Director, Meyer Group
    • Tom Moody  Managing Director, P&G Northern Europe
    • Andy Rubin  Chairman,  Pentland Brands
    • Dave Allen  Managing Director, Premier Paper Group
    • Neill Craigie  Managing Director Europe, Australia and New Zealand, PZ Cussons
    • Graham Best  Chief Executive, ReBOUND
    • Phil Keoghan  CEO, Ricoh UK & Ireland
    • Nadim Ednan-Laperouse  Chief Executive, WOW Toys
  • In Kind Direct’s unique model enables manufactures and retailers to put their surplus stock to good use by donating it for distribution to charities.
  • In Kind Direct has distributed new consumer products donated by some of the UK’s best-known retailers and manufacturers to over 8,800 charities working in the UK and abroad.
  • In Kind Direct is a one-stop solution providing the infrastructure to accept large quantities of goods and then stores, sorts and delivers them directly to charities in its network.
  • In Kind Direct has made a powerful impact on communities through the distribution of over £185 million worth of surplus goods from 1,000 companies including some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers: Amazon, L’Oréal, The Disney Store, Procter & Gamble, Pentland Brands and Colgate Palmolive.

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