An eco-friendly firm selling unwanted clothes online is set to create 40 jobs after moving in to a new £5.2m industrial park in Market Harborough.
Thrift+, a charity-supporting clothing donation service and online retailer, moved on to Airfield Business Park in June as it ramps up its fast-growing operation.
Now Joe Metcalfe, who launched the outfit in Northampton in 2017, is aiming to recruit 40 more workers as demand hits the roof.
The move will be a massive boost to Harborough as the latest grim figures show that unemployment has soared to its highest level locally for almost 30 years amid the Covid-19 crisis.
“We are hoping to recruit a further 40 people here.
“Most of the roles will be helping us process the second-hand clothing and taking pictures,” said Joe.
“We also need people to put away the items and get them ready for delivery.
“Full training will be provided.
“If you are interested in joining us then you can get in touch by emailing us at [email protected]”
Spelling out why he’s headed north to Market Harborough, Joe said: “We weren’t in Northampton for a long time as we are growing rapidly and needed more space.
“I also wanted it to be a modern development to match our own ethos as an innovative start-up.
“So Airfield Business Park in Market Harborough was perfect.
"It was important to be close to a train station for those of us who live in London.
“And I was excited for our warehouse to be near Market Harborough for places to go for team social events."
Joe’s company accepts clothes from both individuals and businesses before sorting them, uploading them and selling them online.
The ambitious entrepreneur and his hard-working team will be operating out of two units totalling 30,000sq ft.
“We will use one of the units for processing and sorting second hand clothes,” said Joe.
“The other will be used for storage.
“Once we are at scale we will hold over a million items in stock ready to be sold online.”
Thrift+ splits its sales income equally between the company, the donor and their chosen charity.
Funds can be handed over to any UK-registered charity chosen by the donor.
Joe said they have already generated over £250,000 for hundreds of good causes and organisations.
“We have supported more than 1,000 charities and the amount we’ve helped to raise for them is brilliant,” he said.
“Each time someone shops second hand, we are helping to reduce the demand for new clothing and items being sent to landfill.”
Airfield Business Park, to the north of Market Harborough, was developed by Leicestershire County Council to lure new businesses to the town and create new jobs.
The authority invested in Airfield Business Park as part of its Corporate Asset Investment Fund.
The body aims to improve the local economy and generate income for frontline services.
Two high-spec 15,000sq ft industrial units are still available at Airfield Business Park.
Cllr Byron Rhodes, the county council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “I’m delighted to see Thrift+ move to Airfield Business Park.
“Supporting businesses is important, particularly in the current climate, as it helps boost our economy and creates jobs.”
He added: “Thrift+ is playing a part in tackling climate change, which is one of our top priorities.
“The move proves how attractive the county is as a place to not only work but to live, invest and socialise in as well.”
The 12 units built by the county council at Airfield Business Park feature 692 solar panels.
In the first year these panels should slash carbon emissions by around 79.4 tonnes – the equivalent of a car travelling 238,000 miles.
Several companies have shown an interest in renting the units, with seven out of 12 available having already been let and another three reserved by prospective tenants.