It’s innovative, it’s unique and better still, it’s done for a cause. It’s no biggie for us to guest appear at pop-ups happening in and around the city but what about the people who can’t really afford to attend these pop-ups and casually pick up two or three items?
The Street Store is the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, cost- free pop-up clothing store for the homeless. Heard of something like that before? Well, we hadn’t. First held in South Africa, it was a concept lauded by the media and the people alike. With minimum infrastructure and resources, the Street Store provides a platform to donate and to receive, that too, with dignity. It’s a platform that allows the people to experience what shopping feels like with assistance and choice.
Launched in 2014, the Street Store initiative has been conducted across 33 cities in the world and in Mumbai for the first time is initiated by IDBI Federal Life Insurance who has resolved to further the cause. Karthik Raman, Chief Marketing Officer, IDBI Federal Life Insurance says, “at IDBI Federal Life Insurance, we believe every person has a right to the basic necessities of life. Our association with ‘The Street Store’ is just one step towards this direction.
How does this work, you ask? A week in advance collection boxes are put up at key strategic locations such as corporate offices, malls and colleges where people can donate clothes. These are then collected, sorted and hung up neatly on cardboard posters to create the look of ‘aisles’ in the stores, making it easy to set up shop anywhere. The cardboard posters are also imprinted with clothes hanger prints, doubling as fashion displays like in a commercial shop.
To ensure maximum turn-out, IDBI Federal Life Insurance had recently partnered with some of their key associates and also used their Twitter and Facebook handles to promote the event. They also set up OOH displays near drop-off point and distributed flyers to ensure the message reaches a large audience.
On the 5th of March, 2017, the busy Sion-Dharavi T-Junction was transformed into an eclectic store where people came and chose what they wanted. The volunteers gave the people their clothes in a special bag too. Over thousand people benefited from the collection of clothing, footwear and other donated items. Item given crossed the two-thousand mark. Some of the other partners for this initiative were The Social Street, Law & Kenneth, Saatchi & Saatchi and LEO Club of Lokhandwala Township.
We’re always wondering what to do with our over-crowded closets and things we don’t wear. Well, now you know what you could do with them. It would be nice to see a homeless girl pick out one of your old jumpsuits and try it on wouldn’t it? Imagine the joy…