TRADING standards bosses in Dorset are warning people to scrutinise letterbox mailshots with care after a clothing collection company was singled out for criticism.

Byronswell Ltd has been criticised by trading standards bosses in Bridgend, Gosport and Oxfordshire after mailing out leaflets across the country asking the public for goods in aid of the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

While the company does not claim to be a charity, critics are slamming its literature because they say it gives the impression of charitable status unless the small print is read.

The leaflet urges residents to hand over unwanted clothes, shoes, socks and underwear. But only a percentage of its profits go to a good cause.

Ivan Hancock, divisional trading standards manager for Dorset, said: "We want to highlight to people that there are lots of businesses like Southampton-based Byronswell Ltd.

"They are a commercial collector of clothing and footwear which is not against the law. They don't claim that they are a charity but I would say that they are playing on the goodwill of their customers.

"If the leaflet is not read carefully, people may think that they are giving to a needy cause and think that people collecting on their doorstep are doing so as a goodwill gesture.

"Read anything that comes through your door very carefully and then make your own judgement as a consumer.

"We don't want consumers to be misled and ask businesses involved in this sort of game to ensure that their leaflets are clear and transparent."

He says people may choose to use a company such as Byronswell because they don't have the time to take their unwanted clothes to a charity shop.

Michal Zaremski, director of Byronswell, said: "We are a commercial collecting company. But we also have the agreement with public organisation Union Chernobyl of Ukraine from Dnipropetrovs'k, Ukraine. And according to this agreement, some amount of our proceeds goes to the account of that organisation."