Open-Source Street Store Offers Free Clothes for Homeless

pop up store hangars

Donated boxes of right-sized clothing can be a boon for those who cannot afford another choice, but this clever approach empowers people in need to choose their own apparel.

pop up sidewalk homeless

pop up shoppers

The Street Store assistants set out flat-pack cardboard hangars, signs and stands along sidewalks and fences, encouraging people to drop off clothing. Volunteers also help passerby in need package what what they find, and those with something to give find a place to put their donations.

pop up helper volunteer

Though the project was started in Cape Town, South Africa, as a collaboration between M&C Saatchi Abel and the Haven Night Shelter Welfare Organisation, it is offered as open-source to applicants from around the world who wish to use the files and create their own  regional variant.

pop up shop volunteer

The open-air approach makes everything more accessible for both donating and recipient parties; it also renders indoor spaces and infrastructure redundant, enabling pop-ups to happen in various public spaces.

pop up cardboard elements

pop up street store

As for the first day’s effort in the project’s original city: “Over 1,000 homeless people visited our store that day. Each put together an outfit that they wanted. An outfit, that for many, was the first they had ever been able to choose for themselves.”