In Sao Paulo, a charity shop does not sell, but collects clothes
The Villa-Lobos shopping centre in Sao Paulo started its venture with the following beliefs: if people are giving less, it’s more because they forget than because they are selfish. To combat this, the centre, spotting a charitable opportunity, decided to build an enormous stand-out feature in the middle of the arcade: a designer glass shop which was completely empty. It was named A Loja Vazia (the empty shop).
The concept? Passers-by can come in and leave clothes they no longer want, and the shop sends them to a charitable organisation every evening.
Every day, the rails in this boutique fill up with clothes brought in by generous Brazilians, thus demonstrating a good deed done. However, every shelf is emptied at the end of the day: it opens again the following morning, completely bare, sparking the curiosity of many a passer-by, inspiring them to give.
This solidarity business project, which has collected more than 3.2 tonnes of clothing in 3 months (February – April 2013), has been made into an open source project by Loducca, the communications agency which started it. Since then, more than 10 similar initiatives have been set up all over the world, using the plans and advice given by the agency, from Milan to Austin and onto Riga. The original shop in Sao Paulo has even won awards at the Tomorrow Awards 2013.