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Exporting

Looking further a field they saw a mutually beneficial market in exporting second hand clothes to developing countries. At the time, most regions of Africa didn't have a textile industry to produce good quality clothes that were affordable to the average African. Exporting our second hand clothes would not only be good for business but also help create an overseas market and provide everyday people with affordable western clothes.

The export side of the business started from a chance meeting and has grown in size and reputation to the success it is today. The fact that LMB is still supported by many of its original customers is testament to this. LMB was proud to receive the Queen's Award For Export in 1997 for its part in creating overseas market.

Recycling Banks

Back in the UK the second hand clothing business was also changing. From the late seventies charities started to take a role in the clothes recycling industry, setting up high street shops that relied on donations from the public. LMB teamed up with Barnardo's as the charity's sole contractor, collecting from every shop in the South East of England. The relationship blossomed and in the 1990's they decided to start putting recycling banks on public streets.

The success of the banks was immediate. The banks encouraged people to recycle, were relatively easy to service and the market for good quality second hands was taking off. LMB expanded. Working with various charities and Local Authorities, LMB put its own banks out on the streets, paying the Local Authorities per tonnage - money that is ploughed back into the local community.