We come from a solid background of charity, clothes and collecting. Here’s our story…
Our inspirational founder Laurie Hollande turned his back on Law studies in London after graduating and decided to follow a more nomadic path. He packed up his old Merc and drove through Afghanistan and Pakistan soaking up the mystique and adventure.
After also traveling through America experiencing so many cultures and fashions, upon his return in the 70s, his enterprising business mind led him to opening vintage clothes stores across hip West London. The public demand was high for Victorian nightdresses, granddad shirts and beaded 20s flapper dresses. The stores built such a profile that they additionally rented out garments from their extensive archives to stylists, film producers and BBC wardrobe departments.
Throughout the 80s Laurie was leading a second hand clothing revolution. From London to New York he owned over 25,000sqm of retail and wholesale space dedicated to second hand clothing. In 1992 Laurie’s business was praised with the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a UK company, The Queen’s Award for Industry.
Being an intrepid traveller with a keen eye, Laurie was always on the lookout for new ventures. As Eastern Europe started to welcome trade in the 90s, another gap in the second hand clothes market presented itself. Department stores were opening with a demand for providing second hand clothes from Britain and Ireland to fashion conscious Europeans. Clothes Aid was born in 1996 with the same mission that remains true today, to provide highly sort after, pre-loved clothing for the benefit of UK and Irish charities.