The first edition of The Street Store took place in Cape Town on Tuesday. It’s a charity pop-up shop consisting of posters on the sidewalk, filled with donated clothes, footwear and accessories. All donations are free for the homeless to browse through and keep. Art director and designer, Max Pazak, and copywriter, Kayli Vee Levitan, the organizers call it “the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free ‘pop-up clothing store’ for the poor, found entirely on the street and curated by you”. Through social media channels they created momentum for the concept that began as an initiative for homeless shelter “The Haven” in their area of the city. Soon they realized Cape Town’s homeless were not the only people who could benefit, as the concept is easy to replicate anywhere in the world.
Levitan told Between 10 and 5: “It makes it easy to make donations as it is hosted in a public area, but it also dignifies the receiving process. Instead of feeling like they’re having old clothing thrown at them, the homeless get to have a full shopping experience. They can browse through the clothes, we’ll help them find an outfit they like, it’s wrapped up and off they go.”
The organizing duo is now working on stores around South Africa and internationally. Anyone who is interested in hosting their own street store is invited to download the open-source artwork and files, get approval from city council, and set up shop in their own neighbourhood.