• A social enterprise changes the consumers’ culture in Russia

    charityshop2It all started with the Social Impact Award 2014
    CharityShop is a new type of social business that becomes more and more popular in Russia. Daria Alekseeva, owner of CharityShop, was a finalist of Social Impact Award in 2014. She was interested in fashion but also wanted to make this world a better place. Daria looked at different kinds of charity shops and developed her own version.

    CharityShop in Moscow sells donated second-hand goods, for example, clothes and jewelry. It builds new infrastructure and consumer culture. People donate things they do not need anymore, and others buy them for a lower price. They collect donated clothes and other items that the owner does not need anymore. All donated items are categorized in three groups: the ones that are of the best quality are sold in the shop, the ones that are still good enough for usage are sent to poor families, the ones that are of the worst quality are recycled.

    Up to 140 tons of clothes
    CharityShop operates not only in Moscow, but also in Adygea, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Saint Petersburg. They started to cooperate with famous brands and big malls. For example, CharityShop places special boxes for collecting goods in SELA shops and MEGA mall, and got 140 tons of clothes, shoes and jewelry one month. CharityShop team also often works in partnership with big corporations. For instance, during one #UberSpringCleaning day, Uber drivers collected 3 tons of goods by picking up donated clothes from families who wanted to participate in this campaign.

    Profit goes to charitable foundation called “Vtoroe dyhanie”(Second breath). It organizes special programs that help people from social vulnerable groups to find a job. Part of revenue goes to Equal Opportunities Development center “Вверх” (Up) that helps children from correctional orphanage to adopt to life outside.

    CharityShop also offers job opportunities
    Furthermore, Daria gives job to people who have difficulties in their life so they can start over. CharityShop helps them to get legal registration, if they do not have one, recover documents and pay related fees. Once Daria hired a homeless man. As she mentioned in her article in Forbes “his hands were shaking so intensively so he couldn’t even tie a bag with the stuff. However, employers usually do a great job. The team looks after them and is very happy when to see that instead of rotten food they have stew and potatoes for lunch”. In addition, CharityShops organizes special events. For example, they run workshops on developing personal look for homeless people and free-shopping days for employees of nursing homes.

    CharityShop is the first social enterprise of that kind in Russia. It changes consumer culture and people’s mindset.

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