Re-Store: Clothing Our Community

Up-cycling clothing in our local community to provide affordable and accessible clothing options

Photo of Emmanuel Bagirov
1 4

Written by

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

12/25/1996

Help us stay in touch!

440-539-6702 Ohio: Strongsville 44149

Date You Started Your Project Started

9/23/19

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Many families live paycheck to paycheck. One emergency can wipe out a family's entire savings and cause families to scramble to get by, unable to afford clothing. Not only are families affected, but individuals as well. By implementing the idea on a greater scale, we can help those in need of clothing. This will also reduce environmental waste if people choose to donate to their community rather than throwing out clothing they no longer wear.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Initial phases have begun with testing a 'store' using space inside a local church. By allowing individuals to donate their old clothing, those working the store can patch up and repackage clothing at affordable prices. Churches are welcoming to any individual, with no price of admission. Churches often provide other hospitalities such as free food, refreshments, and space to interact with family or friends. By combining this with a donation store, those who are vulnerable are able to satisfy the needs they have. Another aspect of churches is carpooling services, which focuses on providing transportation to those who do not have a way to church. In my experience, people are also more willing to support efforts if they can interact directly with the project. This encourages more to donate especially if they see the positive changes they are making. By allowing wide accessibility, while also providing other services, and partnering with the local community, this approach can make huge progress in solving the issue of lack of affordable clothing for individuals and families.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Growing up in an immigrant family, I did not have access to the best housing and clothing. Our family was happy with donations and we would also pass down clothing between siblings to get by. There were many difficulties and hardships along the way due to financial issues that in addition, created additional stress. As my family stabilized and I gained an education, I volunteered at a clinic that specialized in providing accessible & affordable healthcare to vulnerable populations. I also volunteered in running an after-school program and participated in science demonstrations that were either very affordable, or even free. Moving forward, I want to continue giving back to the community as I personally experienced the challenges of financial burden. My mission is to ensure every family has access to everyday necessities.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

People can get involved with our project in different ways. The easiest way is to simply participate in donating unwanted clothing to expand the options available within the store. The second is to volunteer in running the store. This includes processing and organizing donated clothing, helping customers find what they need, and checking out customers after finishing their shopping. Seeing clothing from one individual end up in the hands of their neighbors is an amazing sight to behold.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

From personal experience, there is a significant downwards trend in interest when results are not visible. For example, a public donation box does not make it clear where, when, and who will benefit. By having these 'stores' within local churches, people are seeing results, such as an ever-changing supply of clothes. They know exactly who is processing their clothing, and where it will end up going. It also benefits their local community directly which they feel a stronger connection to. A face-to-face connection, local empowerment, and accessibility, make a significant difference in success.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

The initial store my idea is inspired from has been a boom in our city. It has hit local newspapers with many individuals asking for the store to expand and also to be open for more hours. I plan to make a difference by making it easier for those in troubling circumstances to have clothes to wear. This is especially true in the harsher winters in the north. Ensuring families have a way to stay clothed all year long is my main goal. We will tear down the barriers preventing those in need from having access to the clothes they need. From my experience with working with vulnerable populations, clothing is always one of the most requested items so I know I’m making a difference.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

New ideas include expanding across the country. Having a website. Partnering with local schools and local charities. Partnering with worldwide change makers to see if we can globalize the idea. I would love to make a campaign where I could make adverts indicating where people can donate or pick up clothes if needed.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Plan & Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support
  • Donations less than $100

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Participated in previous Ashoka challenges

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 33.3%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Stormy Barajas
Team

Emmanuel, This project us a great idea, hoping you can put action into it being everything you want it to be!