ECO-FRIENDLY products - including beeswax food wrap and bird houses - are helping to bring in vital funds at Oxfam charity shops.

Oxfam, which opened the country’s first charity shop in Broad Street, celebrated a bumper Christmas, boosted by sales of its range of new ethically sourced products, Sourced by Oxfam.

The charity’s total sales over the eight-week Christmas period exceeded £18m. That represented an increase of one per cent on the same period in 2017 and an extra £167,485 raised, enough to provide safe, clean water for 170,000 people.

Shops at the Oxfam Online Shop rocketed by 27 per cent in the Christmas trading period as shoppers searched for cards and gifts, and like-for-like sales in Oxfam’s high street stores rose by 1.3 per cent, with trading in the week before Christmas reaching a seven-year high.

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Sales of Sourced by Oxfam rose by 48 per cent online, and 11 per cent in high street stores. Eco-friendly products such as beeswax food wrap and ecoffee cups were particularly sought after.

Janet Willis, shop manager at Oxfam’s Summertown branch for the past 20 years, said: “Our eco-friendly coffee cups, which cost £8.99, have been selling very well - I had no idea so many people would buy them.

“Our customers want to support Oxfam’s work and at the same time buy ethical products so they can help to save the planet. The beeswax food wrap is also selling well - it’s an alternative to cling film.”

Ms Willis said shoppers have ‘rallied round’ following revelations about sexual exploitation in Haiti in 2011, which hit the charity early in 2018.

She added that volunteers at the shop in Banbury Road carefully valued items. A book about artist David Hockney, entitled A Bigger Picture, is on sale for £80.

Bestsellers in the Sourced by Oxfam range of ethically sourced products include ecoffee cups for £8.99, beeswax wraps from £2.99, recycled bird houses for £10.99, Christmas wrapping paper from £2.99 and recycled sari bunting for £9.99.

Vintage clothing and designer brands are top search terms online. Andrew Horton, Oxfam trading director said: “Our shops are stocked with sustainable fashion and new products with sound ethical credentials. Our customers are increasingly thoughtful about how they spend their money, seeking out items that save the planet.”

Staff have recently been providing life-saving aid in war-torn Yemen, and working with victims of the tsunami in Indonesia. For more visit