Brief in English
U-landshjälp från Folk till Folk i Finland rf (UFF) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental humanitarian organisation founded in 1987. UFF operates to give equal opportunities to everyone and to reduce widespread poverty through capacity building.
UFF's values are
- the sustainable use of human and material resources
- development for all
UFF exists to serve people.
UFF collects funds for development cooperation by selling second hand clothes, which are sold in the shops owned by the Association and through wholesale. Some of the clothes are also donated to partner organisations in Africa.
UFF Finland collects used clothes in yellow and dark green containers in over 110 municipalities in Southern Finland. There are over 600 container sites in total. In 2015, UFF Finland collected and recycled over 13 million kilos of clothes.
UFF clothes collection
- provides a recycling service for people living in the collection area, and a way to prevent unnecessary waste
- supports and funds development projects in Africa and India
- brings employment both in Europe and Africa
When you donate clothes
It is important that the donated clothes are packed in closed plastic bags when put into the containers so that the clothes do not get wet or dirty. Please donate only re-usable and clean clothes, shoes and home textiles. Permanently stained, totally worn out or broken clothes or shoes should not be put in the containers.
UFF Finland runs 16 second hand shops in the largest cities in Finland: 10 in Helsinki, two in Tampere, one in Turku, Jyväskylä, Espoo and Vantaa. UFF also has an internet shop, which serves people living in Finland.
The purpose of the shops is to finance the clothes collection and sorting, but most importantly: to generate funds for development aid projects in Africa and in India. The shops are also an important channel for distributing information to Finnish consumers about development projects.
UFF Second Hand Shops are known for their high quality and fashionable selection, clear displays and friendly service. UFF's registered customers receive a newsletter twice a year, and get special offers and advantages. Customers shopping in UFF's second hand shops are supporting development cooperation and the environment at the same time.
In 2015, UFF Finland supported 30 development projects in Mozambique, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Congo DR, Namibia and India. The funds are collected by selling recycled clothes, through private donations and public grants. For many years the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been the largest external supporter for UFF's projects. In recent years, UFF's projects have also received funding from the European Commission.
Education is the cornerstone of UFF’s development cooperation, teacher training being the flagship of UFF's Development Cooperation Program. In 2015, over 70 % of UFF's funs for development cooperation were used for training new teachers. UFF also supports rural and community development projects, Child Aid projects and projects geared towards the prevention of HIV / AIDS.
UFF development cooperation includes the following projects:
Teacher Training Colleges
Street Children Schools
A Teacher Training University
Farmers' Clubs and Green Action
Community Development Programmes
Child Aid Programmes
Hope AIDS-Center activities
The Teacher Training Colleges in Mozambique, Malawi and Angola educate new teachers in order to alleviate the enormous lack of teachers in these countries, especially in rural areas. The curriculum is designed to train teachers who are able to face the challenges of life in poor rural areas, and have the capacity to work towards developing these communities.
The Vocational Schools address the needs of youth in remote areas. Young people with a profession matching the needs of the local job market do not necessarily need to move to big cities in search of employment. The availability of skilled workers also boosts the local economies.
The Street Children Schools address the needs of children with special social needs who would have trouble enrolling in ordinary primary schools.
The Teacher Training University in Mozambique offers higher education. The students of teacher training university become teacher trainers or civil servants in the field of education.
The Farmers Clubs support organised farmer groups, promoting environmentally sustainable farming techniques, better market access, entrepreneurship skills and access to water, thus improving the living conditions of small scale farmers. The Green Action movement also includes the promotion of sustainable soil and water use and use of environment friendly energy.
The Child Aid Program is a comprehensive approach to improving the living conditions of unprivileged children and their communities. The activities include information and sensitising campaigns, health and sanitation actions, counselling on gardening and nutrition, and pre-school activities.
Grassroot Comics is a method developed by World Comics. In comics workshops people learn to use comics as a simple and effective tool for sharing information and distributing important messages.
The Hope Centers distribute information on HIV/AIDS prevention, offer voluntary testing and counselling, and give support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
The collected clothes are sorted at the UFF sorting centre in Klaukkala, Nurmijärvi. Clothes, shoes and textiles are separated into approximately ten different categories, according to their subsequent use.
Wholesale was the main category for UFF in 2015. A remarkable amount of clothes recycled in Finland comprise of winter clothes. These clothes are mainly sold wholesale to other European countries and the profit is used to finance UFF's development cooperation projects. Wholesale is an important source of income for UFF Finland, because financial donations suit the development projects better than Second Hand clothes donations would.
Wholesale also creates employment in Europe. To give an example, a large amount of the winter clothes donated to UFF are sold to Russian and Estonian wholesale buyers. Wholesale covers much of the employment costs and other expenses incurred by clothes collection and sorting in Finland. An increasing amount of clothes are recycled - over 13 million kilos in 2015 – and the volume would exceed the capacity of the sorting centre and retail needs if a part of the donated clothes were not sold through wholesale.
For any inquires considering wholesale, please contact our Sorting Center:
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
UFF wholesale is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (except on public holidays) from 7 am to 3 pm.
+358 (0)9 2764 7664 / +358 (0)9 2764 7665