Virgin Trains are to donate blankets, scarves and dog coats which have been made from
old staff uniforms to homeless charities.
Garments which were originally coats, shell jackets, shirts, trousers and suits worn by
Virgin Trains’ frontline have been given a new lease of life and will be distributed to those
living on the streets in time for the winter months.
The upcycled clothes – many of which are in Virgin Train’s signature colour of red – were
transformed by prisoners at HMP Northumberland at their onsite textile factory.
Items will either be distributed by Virgin Staff at London Euston, Birmingham New Street,
Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street and Glasgow Central or will go to local
charities to give to the homeless.
Other items of clothing which could not be made into blankets have been used to make
unbranded dog coats which will also be given out to those homeless people with four legged
Some branded dog coats with the Virgin Trains logo will be given to staff in return for a
donation - with the profits going to charity.
The remainder of the clothes – which are more than six years old - will be donated to charity
or later recycled. This initiative follows on from Virgin Trains recent partnership with Change
Change Please have used any profits generated from their contract with Virgin Trains to recruit
more people who have experienced homelessness to be baristas. Both organisations are
working together to develop successful trainees and offer them a chance to use their new
skills in further or new employment with the train operator.
Jo Buckley, Community Manager at Virgin Trains: “We set ourselves the challenge to be creative
and socially responsible with disposing of these old uniforms. It’s also a smart and socially
responsible way to handle our waste.
“It’s so rewarding to see the repurposed uniform benefitting those who really need a little warmth
and comfort during the winter months and we’re so proud to play a small part in helping the
homeless alongside our work with our partners Change Please Coffee.”