The charity pop up store that took London by storm last year is back with more ways to help displaced people this Christmas. The Help Refugees ‘Choose Love’ store will open simultaneously in London and New York offering a totally unique take on the traditional shopping experience.
Choose Love invites visitors to ‘shop your heart out, leave with nothing, and feel the love’. From new items like solar lamps and women’s services to emergency blankets and school bags, every purchase goes towards a similar item for a refugee, distributed by Help Refugees and their partners across Europe and the Middle East. In addition, this year the store will also be offering sleeping bags and support for homeless groups both in the UK and the US.
Each store invites visitors to interact with the items and discover why they’re needed. Split into three sections, each area explores a different stage of a refugee’s journey, from “Survival” (emergency blankets, warm clothing and food) to “Shelter” (tents, sleeping bags and hygiene packs) all the way to the “Future” (educational materials, a dictionary and keys to a home).
New for this year will be the addition of ‘bundles’ of items, which are offered to help people with specific needs, such as the mother and baby bundle, and a collection of services for vulnerable women.
There will also be new products on show to support people; like family reunion, which will pay for a lawyer for a refugee separated from their family and a solar lamp, which will allow customers to buy energy and power for people in refugee camps.
Last year, the London store and its online equivalent raised £750,000, helping provide refugees with:
- 800,000 nutritious meals
- 3,556 nights of accommodation
- 25,000 essential winter items for adults, which included 5,000 blankets and 11,000 items of clothing
- 100,000 essentials for babies and children including 77,000 packs of nappies
Josie Naughton CEO of Help Refugees says, “Last Christmas, the shop became a beacon of compassion in the heart of central London. Choose Love helped people from all walks of life feel empathy for refugees – and do something practical to help.”
“This year, as displaced people attempt to survive another freezing winter in tents and makeshift shelters, we’ll be inviting people to Choose Love once again and support refugees and homeless populations across the globe.”
The store has been carefully designed to create an uplifting yet meaningful retail experience – a striking space where people can learn about refugees while doing something practical to help. In London, Choose Love now covers two floors with the ground floor elegantly showcasing the items and merchandise, and the 1st floor acting as a space to host events, workshops and talks.
Help Refugees volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions and take donations in both London and New York. For those not able to get to the store, www.choose.love offers a seamless online shopping experience. Browse the items, read the stories of the people you will help and pop them in your cart.
All images, stories and items in store come straight from the frontline of the refugee crisis, where the charity works. The concept and design of the store was created by creative collective Glimpse, whose mission is to use creativity for good.
The items on sale will include emergency blankets, children’s shoes, warm gloves, mobile phone credit and more. Costs will range from £4.99 to £499: an option to ‘buy the store’.
CHOOSE LOVE LONDON:
Opening: 23 November 2018 Closing: January 2019
Address: 30-32 Fouberts Place, Carnaby, London, W1F 7PS
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11 – 6 pm, Sunday 12 – 6 pm
CHOOSE LOVE NEW YORK:
Opening: 27 November 2018
Address: 456 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012, USA