Originating in South Africa, Street Store champions a different kind of food and clothing dispensary for homeless and disadvantaged people. While creating an experience akin to a pop-up store with clothing racks, barbers, food stalls and DJs playing, it offers an often missed opportunity for social cohesion where those donating can mix with those receiving.

Street Store has already taken place in several major cities around the world and now, Free is Better, a Melbourne-based bottled water and marketing company, is bringing the open-source concept here.

This charitable event depends on donations and Free is Better is appealing to you to donate clothes.

“Give something you would be thankful to get yourself,” says Free is Better co-founder, Hwi So. “Clothes you would cherish rather than those you’re just throwing out. So please, no broken old shoes but things of real quality.”

The idea is to create a dignified and enjoyable shopping experience for those who’re usually disenfranchised from this aspect of life, which most of us take for granted.

“We want to make it an experience for people rather than just a place for them to pick up other people’s unwanted clothes.”

Mr. Burger will be onsite selling $5 vouchers for you to buy and donate to someone in need who can redeem it at the truck. With DJs spinning tunes all afternoon, Street Store creates an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together in one space.

Along with its partners, Homeless of Melbourne, Free is Better has begun spreading word about the event to the city’s homeless and disadvantaged.

“If it’s a success we’ll make it an annual or bi-annual thing,” says So. “Fed Square is keen to continue hosting it if it goes well.”

Street Store is being held between 12pm and 3pm on Saturday December 20 at St Paul’s Court, Federation Square. Donations are welcome at the event or can be dropped at Free is Better’s office (221 Kerr Street, Fitzroy) this week between 10am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.