At E-City cloth bank, a garment costs just Re 1

At E-City cloth bank, a garment costs just Re 1

Imagine Trust is collecting clothes in good condition and passing them on to those in need

The bank started serving the underprivileged in September this year.

An NGO has started a cloth bank at Electronics City and is giving away clothes at Re 1 each. Run by Imagine Trust, founded in 2013, the bank started serving the underprivileged in September this year.

Melisha Noronha, her mother Gladys, husband Vinod Lobo, and friends Nitin Kumar and Vignesh started the trust after working with rural youth. The idea of the cloth bank came up when the pandemic was at its peak this year.  “Seeing all the suffering around, we felt protected and realised it was our duty to give back to society. A poor family spends about Rs 2,000 a year on clothes, and we wanted to help them save up for better use,” says Melisha. 

The idea of the bank was inspired by a cloth bank that Vinod and Nitin ran during their college days in Mangaluru 18 years ago. “We had seen the impact it made and took the learning to create a showroom for the poor,” she says.

The team was sceptical initially, afraid that a few might corner all the clothes. “We maintain a list of people who have visited us and have had some repeat customers. We educate them about greed vs need,” she says.

So far, 560 families have benefited from the service. A visitor can buy up to 10 items on a visit. “Many don’t want clothes for free. Also, the money from the initiative is again used for the needy,” she says. Stacked neatly, about 2,500 clothes are available every Sunday, waiting to be picked up from a store in Lava Kusha Layout. “Of this lot, 1,500 get picked up every week,” she says.

The clothes are donated by about 30 apartment complexes in and around Electronics City. “We have stocks that last about six months. Every item is hand-checked. We give clear guidelines about what can be contributed and what cannot,” she says.

Some retailers who closed down during the pandemic gave away new clothes to the bank. “We are putting out these new clothes as a festival collection. We plan to keep doing this for special days and festivals,” she says. The trust plans to also start banks for toys and utensils. 

Imagine Trust Cloth Bank, No 97, Lava Kusha Layout, Beratena Agrahara, Electronic city post, open on Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.

To contribute, call 96119 77074.