The Salvation Army, the Goodwill Store, and thrift shops: these are now the coolest places to buy new clothes. Or rather, new-old clothes.
The resurgence of vintage and retro styles among today’s youth, perpetuated by the hipster lifestyle that is nowhere more evident than off the Bedford Avenue stop in Brooklyn, has breathed new life into many urban thrift stores – and not just in the US. In an attempt to raise donations for the needy, elderly population in Israel, McCann Digital Israel capitalized on this concept in a big way.
Israel is home to thousands of Holocaust survivors and other elderly people who are finding it difficult to support themselves. Many of them have little to no money and food, with limited means of obtaining any. Unfortunately, most young people simply don’t care about the plight of the elderly. So how do you engage an apathetic youth population?
Provide them with something they can relate to.
Ami Alush, a creative director at McCann, breaks down this goal into a simple objective:
Instead of showing yet again elderly Israelis rummaging through garbage cans looking for food, which unfortunately nobody notices anymore, we thought about coming from a more positive direction in order to raise funds.
While the growing elderly population in Israel may not have a lot money or much in common with the younger generation, they do have something today’s youth want: original, vintage clothing.
McCann worked with the Shorashim Group, an organization that helps provide food for elderly people in need, to take advantage of this resource by creating their own vintage clothing brand. The organization asked the elderly they provide services to donate any unwanted clothing they may have. The clothes were then cleaned up, repaired, and incorporated into a photo shoot with many well-known Israeli models.
The clothes, which were tagged and rebranded as ‘Roots: Second Hand Fashion’, were made available through a special online store and select local thrift shops. Billboards, print ads, online banners and other digital ads promoted the ‘new’ Roots line, in addition to incredible press coverage from local media, fashion bloggers, and news outlets. The results of the campaign were staggering: In less than a week, the entire 2013 online collection had sold out.
With all the proceeds from the Roots initiative being donated back to the Shorashim Group, they were able to provide 1,400 holiday meals to local elderly people in need. The campaign was simple, and unbelievably effective, in reaching Israeli youth and engaging them to donate, showing a great example of making charitable giving relevant to the target audience. Plus, the Roots campaign successfully provides a donation platform for years to come, as additional seasonal lines can be released. Surely, Macklemore would be proud.
Check out a video of the campaign below: