The Street Store, a Force-for-Good initiative born on the streets of Cape Town was named a finalist in the Best World Changing Idea EMEA Region and Creativity categories in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2020 global awards as well as recognised in 4 other categories.
Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas awards honours the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts from different industries around the world that are making a positive change on a broad range of issues from climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality.
The Street Store bridges the gap between the haves and have-nots, providing the homeless with the dignity of choosing their own clothes instead of being on the receiving end of often-unwanted hand-me-downs.
Mike Abel, Founding Partner and CEO of M&C SAATCHI ABEL says that South Africa has many people who want to help but often don’t know where or how. “Because of this, we conceptualised The Street Store concept in 2014. The world’s first rent-free, premises-free, pop-up clothing store for homeless people.”
The Street Store concept has seen global acclaim as anyone is able to download everything they need to host their own – a truly open source initiative. Donations are made by the public and then placed on clothing rails for homeless people to choose the clothes they actually like and want. So far, almost 1000 Street Stores have taken place globally.
In 2019, as a way to ensure ongoing clothing donations throughout the year, we partnered with hotel group Home Suite Hotels, where a hanger in each room of the hotel is specially dedicated to The Street Store. Travelers are encouraged to bring with them and leave behind a piece of clothing to donate, which would then be used for future Street Stores.
In addition to being named finalist in two categories, The Street Store also received an honourable mention in the Advertising, Spaces, Places, and Cities, Corporate Social Responsibility, and General Excellence categories.
For more information on Street Store, or to create your own, visit www.thestreetstore.org or on any of the major social media platforms. With restrictions put in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Street Stores are currently on hold, but we are investigating how best to continue this incredible open-source initiative in the future – when it’s safe to do so.