Any clothing at just Rs.1! Wondering how and where could it be even possible to get such cheap clothes in this expensive world? It appears to be an illusion, but a group of friends has transformed it into reality. Yes, a friend’s group has launched a cloth bank in Bangalore to help the needy. The bank’s name is ‘Imagine Clothes Bank’.
In this bank, only the poor and needy can drop off and pick up any cloth of their choice. They can get these clothes with a nominal fee of Re 1 per piece. Friends from college time, Vinod Prem Lobo, Melisha Noronha, Nitin Kumar, and Vignesh have started this unique initiative.
Cloth bank on the city streets
“It all started in our college days in St. Aloysius, Mangaluru in 2002, when we classmates built a cloth bank on the city streets for the poor,” says Lobo, one of the members of the Bank’s founding team. The clothes were collected through contributions made by the students of the city schools. The free distribution went on successfully for some time till we all completed our studies and left the college to pursue our careers.”
How does the boutique start?
The friends reunited in Bengaluru after settling into their respective careers. After this, they resumed the work they had left behind in Mangaluru. This resulted in the formation of the Imagine trust, a charitable organization formed to uplift the economically disadvantaged sections of society.
Setup after the Covid breakdown
The textile bank was opened for the poor in Bengaluru in early 2021. It was started especially after the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown rendered thousands of daily wage laborers and migrant workers jobless.
A single destination for the needy
The team began collecting vintage clothing through friends and acquaintances. They also spread the word among resident welfare associations in large apartment complexes in Bengaluru. The response has been positive. Meanwhile, they established a boutique to provide a single destination for the needy to take the benefit. Eventually, the team found a two-bedroom flat in Electronics City, Bengaluru.
100’s of choices with only 100 paisa
The boutique displays all types of clothing as neatly as any other shop. It includes shirts, pants, skirts, saris, jackets, and even blankets and drapes. Some of these clothes are brand new, while the rest are in fine condition. Now, the needy will have the right to choose what to wear at a very low and affordable cost.
Toy bank for underprivileged
Two employees of Imagine Clothes Bank Boutique ensure that clothing is separated by age, size, and type. The amount from the sales is used to meet the educational or medical needs of deserving families. This Children’s Day, the four friends intend to open a toy bank for the underprivileged.