Iran pays people to donate their organs. Israel has a “no give, no take” policy (opt-out, and you drop to the bottom of the list, if you ever need one). Countries have different ways of promoting organ donorship.
Now, here’s another: high-end clothes. With the help of Native, a media agency, the Organ Donor Foundation, in South Africa, has set up a fashionable pop-up shop, where the currency isn’t cash or credit. To get a shirt or new pair of slacks, you need to give something of yourself–literally.
“Fashion has typically been synonymous with consumerism,” says Ryan McManus, Native’s creative director, in a statement. “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.”
The boutique, called The Exchange, opened its doors in Cape Town on May 10, with about 1,000 items from 25 local designers. To get the clothes, shoppers need to sign a declaration that reads, “I declare that when I die, my organs will be donated to a person in need, giving them a second chance to live the rest of their days to the fullest.”
As you can see from the Facebook page here, many customers have willingly made the bargain. Organ Donor Foundation hopes to get at least 500 new registrations.
The non-profit’s spokesperson, Jooste Vermeulen, describes the store as “a fun approach to a difficult topic.” It also helps draw attention to the issue.