Have you checked your shelf recently? On average 30-40% of what’s in our cupboard hasn’t been worn for over a year. Right? Some don’t fit us anymore, some are out of fashion and some we think we will wear but we never do.
Shopping at malls is usually a sign of privilege.Outside every shopping malls one can see beggars sitting on the road. The kids stare at our shopping bags. They have no idea to the shopping experience that many of us enjoy.They mostly end up getting what they are given as charity. But is this fair?
Well, to remedy this- three young entrepreneurs Shivaji Prabhakar, Jeybala and Ajith Kumar started a non profit organisation that offers “shopping mall” experience for the underprivileged sections of society.
The Good Samaritans
Thuli – a shopping store started on February 18, 2018.The Motto of thuli is “charity with dignity”.One can shop clothes with dignity, not just pick up something that has been offered in charity.
Insydfeed spoke to Mr.Vinoth – who is in charge of customer care and collections. He shed some light about the store in detail. Here how the process works.
1) The clothes are collected from donors across the city – one can donated their clothes at their store situated in Adyar.
2) The clothes are segregated based on their usability and also undergoes a strict quality control check before it reaches the store.
3) The first quality goes to the godown for dry cleaning while the second,third quality goes to the orphanage homes.
4) The clothes are dry cleaned and arranged according to size, age and gender by the volunteers.
5) They are then put on display with the price tags for instance T shirts at Rs 50 and so on.It allows families to feel the sense of money exchanged for the goods being purchased.
6) The families are identified by NGOs and a voucher of Rs 1500 is given to them.One has to register using Aadhar card or Smart card to avail the benefit.
7) Thuli sends SMS and vouchers to its beneficiaries once in six months or whenever they stock new products.
8) Not just clothes, one can also donate handbags,footwear, accessories, school bags etc
What makes it awesome?
The store has fine interiors,air conditioned environment and racks of neatly folded clothes, toys and accessories. It also has a trial room like any other shopping malls.They get to pick the items with dignity which they like to take back home,thus eliminating the choicelessness of charity products.
Happy faces at Thuli
Thuli gets help from 3 professors who are contributing to the laundry service and Parveen Travels for transportation.
For years, many have been donating clothes to government schools,orphanages.But do the clothes even fit? Have they ever experienced the pleasure of shopping? Well, Thuli -the mall for all sets an example.So next time, do not throw your unused dresses, instead give them a “new home”.
Thuli’s store is located at Gokul Arcade on Sardar Patel Road in Adyar,Chennai.Visit their Facebook page or call 755028318/ 638306662 for more queries if anyone wants to volunteer.