The collective retail space, Threads Project in Woodstock, have combined their creativity with HPCA’s (Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa) compassion and made the charity shop, Butterfly Box, their social responsibility -entirely rent free.
The Threads Project being a space where inspired entrepreneurs can enter the retail market without daunting coercions such as staffing, service and large rentals and the Butterfly Box being a charity shop which stocks new and previously-loved fashion at bargain prices. It is a place where young creatives come to share their skills, frustrations and where they can learn from one another.
When asking Greg Swanepoel, owner of Threads, if he has been touched by Hospice he expressed: “I lost my best friend to Cancer last year. Hospice and their staff were amazing. They were so sensitive and kind. They really touched my heart.” He went on to explain why he chose to make the Butterfly Box their social responsibility: “I loved their no nonsense approach to a difficult problem. Raising funds to support an organisation like Hospice is much harder than you think. There are so many good organisations competing for the same benevolence. Butterfly Box were keen, enthusiastic and had a model that worked perfectly with our business”
Threads instigated a new spin on collaborative retail, they provide the avenue to market and leave the creatives to have full control of their value chain. Greg spends a lot of his time mentoring and giving advice to his vendors in order for them to excel in the business world. Questioning Greg on why he chose Woodstock he explained, “It was the right time, right place. It is perfectly situated close to The Biscuit Mill and Saturday’s Neighbourhood Market. They have done an excellent job of uplifting this area and we have been fortunate enough to capitalise on their excellent work.”
Due to the success of collaboration and compassion that Threads has, a second store has opened in the Maboneng District in Johannesburg and third to be opened in Auckland Park, Johannesburg in September. Not only are they becoming national but they are also spending the second half of this year in getting the online component threadsproject.com out to a wider market.
With the Butterfly Box being rent free, more funds are available for HPCA to provide sufficient support to the 156 national hospices and affiliate sites in order for them to provide quality palliative care to all.