The Clothing Collective

Ambassador: Daniel Machlup & Natalie Bentel , South Africa

Daniel founded The Clothing Collective in late 2018 as a way to both recycle unwanted clothes and help provide unemployed women from underprivileged areas with opportunities to generate income. The Clothing Collective has received 100,000 South African Rand worth of donated clothing in five months. Daniel, who was later joined by Natalie, was inspired to start the Collective after seeing the effective use of large clothing banks in public places across other countries.

Second-hand clothing is donated into large collection containers, which is then sorted and redistributed, for resale, to unemployed mothers in the informal settlements in Johannesburg, South Africa. The women that receive the clothing are trained and guided with the appropriate business skills so that they are able to create businesses for themselves. The goal is to empower these women with sustainable businesses. Daniel and the team decided to place these collection containers in prominent public spaces such as shopping centres and workplaces so that the scheme would be visible and attract donations. The containers feature posters that show the benefits generated by donating used clothing. The Clothing Collective has installed one collection container to date, with plans to expand to new locations in local businesses and public buildings over 2019. The Clothing Collective partners with The Clothing Bank, an organisation that trains unemployed mothers on how to start a business and manage finances. The Clothing Bank collects the donated clothes and sells them to women at a competitive price, allowing these women to sell these items in the informal economy to make a profit. The money generated by the Clothing Bank is then used to train more unemployed mothers in business management, whilst the women are able to use the money that they generate to manage their businesses and homes.