'In exchange for a garment, the consumer can literally purchase an item by registering as an organ donor to potentially save lives.'

Cape Town - You won’t be needing money or a credit card when shopping at South Africa’s first cashless fashion boutique, The Exchange in Cavendish Square.

All you have to do is to register as an organ donor with the Organ Donor Foundation in exchange for some high-end fashion and accessories from the country’s top designers.

A brainchild of digital marketing agency, Native, the pop-up boutique opens on Friday May 10 and will remain open until all the clothing and accessories have been “exchanged”.

The retail space has been provided free of charge by Cavendish Square. Clothing and accessories are donated by local designers, including Black Coffee and Lunar.

Ben Wagner, head of Native Cape Town, said a partnership with the Organ Donor Foundation had put the concept together: “We were looking for a way in which we could change the currency of meaningless consumerism and shift it to the currency of life by purchasing fashion with organ donor registration.

“In exchange for a garment, the consumer can literally purchase an item by registering as an organ donor to potentially save lives. Each donor registration can hopefully save seven lives and with over 500 items in the boutique, we hope to reach a target of over 3 500 possible lives saved.”

 

Only one item of clothing can be selected per organ donor registration via the Organ Donor Facebook page, www.facebook.com/organdonorfan.

“The concept will work extremely well as we’re changing the currency for high-demand fashion from cash to something far more personal. Each garment also becomes a natural talking point as the person wearing it will have a far more interesting story to tell about how they got the garment.”

Organ Donor Foundation’s director of communications, Jooste Vermeulen, emphasised the fact that it was not about trading human organs, but a campaign to raise and promote awareness about organ donation.

“We are raising awareness about what is a traditionally difficult topic. This is a fun approach to a difficult topic,” he said.

Most organ donations, including the heart, liver and lungs, occur after the donor has died, but some organs and tissue can be donated while the donor is still alive.

The fashion rage includes ready-to-wear items, accessories and shoes. - Cape Argus