How your donated clothes end up in Fijian superstores

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Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders are donating “good used clothing” to a secondhand clothing empire earning millions of dollars, rather than to charities.

At the heart of the empire, which extends to New Zealand, Fiji and other Pacific islands, is 67-year-old Irish-born businessman George Doonan in Brisbane and another branch of the Doonan family in Auckland.

They operate a scheme which distributes pink bags to letterboxes asking for people’s help in filling the bags with “good quality clothing” and other goods, to be sold “at a cheap price” to low-income families or shipped to PNG tribespeople.

According to Zoom Info and Alibaba, two of the second-hand clothing companies which list George Doonan as a director have revenues totalling millions of dollars a year.

One of those companies, Pacific Island Recyclers Pty Ltd, said on its Facebook pagein July 2017 it was selling more than 100 shipping containers a year to Fiji, where its main customer is …

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