The Street Store | The World’s First Pop-up Charity Store



The Street Store is the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, pop-up charity store, giving away clothes to the poor, mahala. This pop-up is made of posters on the sidewalk, and runs entirely on donations. It’s pretty simple: you bring clothes and shoes you don’t wear, and the homeless help themselves.


The first Street Store happens today, at 2 Somerset Road, De Waterkant (outside the Salesian Institute), from 06h30 – 19h00. We stopped by to chat to Kayli Levitan, a copywriter from M&C Saatchi Abel and one of the organisers of The Street Store.


Here’s what she said, and what today’s store looks like:




Who’s the team behind The Street Store?


Art director and designer, Max Pazak, and copywriter, Kayli Vee Levitan, from M&C Saatchi Abel.


What’s the concept behind The Street Store, and what inspired it? How did you come up with the idea?


Working in Greenpoint, we often see homeless people, and we wanted to do something to help – but it’s tough. Where do you take donations, and who gets them? We needed a middle ground. Somewhere easy to donate and easy to receive. So we took to the street with nothing but a couple of posters.


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.


After working through the idea with The Haven, we realized that homelessness and poverty isn’t a uniquely Capetonian problem. It isn’t even just a South African problem. It’s world-wide. So we asked The Haven if they would mind if we made the concept of the store completely open-source. And they agreed! So now anyone, from any city around the world can host a Street Store.




How does The Street Store work? 


We have created a series of 5 posters that make up the entire store.


People making donations literally hang their clothes through a gap in the poster, and drop their shoes onto our specially designed flat boxes.


The homeless can then come and browse through the clothes, and help themselves.


Who came up with the idea of using posters, who designed them?


Max thought that using posters to hang clothing would be a really great way to promote an organization like The Haven. But what we realized was that instead of just showing people the posters, to really create and inspire change we needed them to engage with them. That is how the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free “pop-up clothing store” for the poor was created.





How can people get involved?


Well, come visit us today between 6:30am and 7pm. Bring clothes, shoes, ties or anything! Tweet us, Facebook us, share the love so we can grow The Street Store as much as possible.


If you’d like to host your own street store,  just log on to and download the artwork and files, get approval from city council, and start making a difference! We are also happy to help out with any extra info you may need to get started.


When is the next street store?


We are working on stores around South Africa and internationally. This is a learning curve for us. And so far, the experience has been amazing!




Check out the Facebook Event here for details on today’s store.


Find The Street Store on their Facebook page, Twitter, or go to for details on their next pop-up and how to get involved.



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Cape Town


  1. What a brilliant idea!! I have a bag of ladies clothing I would like to donate will there be someone there tomorrow at 2 Somerset Road Greenpoint tomorrow during the stipulated times?


    Maggie Mouton
    Cell: 082 6035092

  2. Melissa van Rooyen

    Hi Maggie, It’s a pop-up, so they’re only there until 7pm tonight.

  3. This is GENIUS, WOW. All the best and hope it becomes the biggest thing ever.

  4. Awesome work guys… Kudos for actually DOing something. More of this please!

  5. What a brilliant project guys awesome concept original, fresh, mind blowing! May God bless you all involved!!

  6. I really don’t like trolling, or trolls for that matter, but I feel I have to say something after reading this;
    “After working through the idea with The Haven, we realized that homelessness and poverty isn’t a uniquely Capetonian problem. It isn’t even just a South African problem. It’s world-wide.”

    Did the copywriter really have no idea that “homelessness” and poverty are problems in this country, and the world? Really?

    Great idea otherwise guys.

  7. i live in Durban and can donate mans clothing.
    Any idea how to go about?
    thank you
    In some European countries when people does not need furniture or other items once a week they place the item on the pavement for people to take when needed.

  8. There’s a really nice idea in this however I think the execution lets it down somewhat.

    The shop is supposed to give them more dignity yet they parade them down a main street to get some charity for awareness.

  9. Great Idea. Hope there is something like this in Durban soon. Have loads of dishes etc to give away.

  10. I was also there. An amazing project. Very organised. You can find some pictures on my Blog. Share them to make this project more public.

  11. Yes, it’s been done and should not be considered for awards, but too many great ideas that could address social woes are abandoned because of this.

    If it can help people, then it should be done.
    But only to help.

  12. My wife and her friends are coming from Norway next week to sing in the Jazz festival……theyre thinking of donating clothes. Can someone email me please about this asap !!??