Welcome to The Empty Shop… there’s nothing on the shelves: Manchester Arndale charity ‘store’ helps homeless

By Helen Le Caplain

The sight of an empty shop on the high street is normally viewed as a blight on the consumer landscape, a failed venture that is indicative of the struggle retailers are still facing following the recession.

However one charity is taking inspiration from Brazil and is turning this idea on its head, instead embracing empty shelves, rails and naked mannequins in the hope of creating greater awareness about Manchester’s homeless.  

The Empty Shop, an innovative fashion and charity concept spearheaded by Mustard Tree, will take place over a ten-day period in Manchester Arndale accepting pre-loved clothing from shoppers looking to make some space in their wardrobes.

CEO of Mustard Tree Adrian Nottingham said, “Mustard Tree is delighted to be participating in this innovative project.

“We are proud that Manchester is taking a lead in seeking to broker practical solutions and raise awareness of the plight of the increasing number of its residents facing homelessness and marginalisation.”

During the day stylists and fashion bloggers will be transforming the store with on-trend looks using gifted items while every evening the store will be emptied, giving a new meaning to the idea of fast fashion.

Donations will be either be distributed directly to those enduring freezing temperatures this winter or sold to raise money for Manchester homeless projects.

Shop and bar fitters Clarke Gough have brought the concept to the UK after its success over in Brazil and will be managing the project.

Marketing Executive of Clarke Gough Ben Davies said: “Clarke Gough try and do unique projects and with the Empty Shop we really wanted to do something different.

“It was an innovative event we could use to bring Manchester together to help with this problem we see every day. We are so excited to see the Empty Shop happen.”

The Empty Shop will launch on January 23 and will be based in Manchester Arndale in front of Next.

Video courtesy of loduccapublicidade, with thanks

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