23 Sep 2013

Charity idea

Every now and then, stuffs I use get obsolete. These are majorly clothing items - shirts, tees, kicks, etc. It is not always that they get spoilt or damaged. Most times it is that I grow out of them or I need a change. Or a size issue. Or after a few use, I stopped liking it. Even when it is from damage, it is rarely ever one that will render it completely useless.

To many of us, disposing these stuffs means throwing them away. There are no people around us we can easily give. We want to be able to give this out to people in need of it. It is however just easier to burn/shred/trash them than spend the next long hours looking for a welfare home and getting it to it.

What if there is an easier channel to do this? Let's say a charity that collates these items and distributes them to welfare homes. The tricky part is the collection must be done in a way that all possible friction is reduced. One idea is to have collection points in strategic locations where people can just bring [good] clothing stuffs they don't use again. The con of this is that there is still a level of friction - many will still find it hard going to collection points especially if far from their comfort zones.

Another idea is to schedule pickups around different zones. This will require more resources though but has the least friction. Another silly one is to have people request return-paid boxes they can put these stuffs and send back. There are even more problems with this though. Ignoring our poor postal service, running cost is a very big one here.

From whatever angle it is approached, it is an idea that will require resources to pull. But I think it will be a good one to see work.

My name is Opeyemi Obembe. I build things for web and mobile. You should follow me on Twitter (@kehers).