Hospice taps into so­cial me­dia

Central Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SHANI WIL­LIAMS

An Auck­land char­ity is har­ness­ing the power of so­cial me­dia in its quest to pro­vide univer­sity stu­dents with af­ford­able cloth­ing.

Mercy Hospice Auck­land and In­sta­gram user Shanti Probst are work­ing to­gether on an ini­tia­tive, called Con­scious Fash­ion, which tri­alled a pop-up shop at the Unitec In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy last week.

In­sta­gram is a so­cial me­dia web­site, owned by Face­book, that lets users share pho­tos with fol­low­ers.

The pop-up shop proved so pop­u­lar, with stu­dents lin­ing up to get in, that Mercy Hospice plans to roll out shops at other uni­ver­si­ties in Auck­land.

Mercy Hospice Auck­land re­tail op­er­a­tions man­ager An­nie said it had a steady flow of stu­dents through all week, and at times there was not enough room in the store for cus­tomers.

The pop-up shop was a re­sponse to a Unitec study, re­leased in May, which found one in six stu­dents were go­ing with­out food or other ne­ces­si­ties be­cause they could not af­ford it.

‘‘We re­alised that univer­sity stu­dents needed af­ford­able ne­ces­si­ties, such as cloth­ing, linen and heat­ing, and that we could of­fer that,’’ Hur­ley said.

It also re­alised it needed to use so­cial me­dia to reach a youth de­mo­graphic. That’s where Probst comes in.

Probst’s In­sta­gram ac­count @my­con­cious­closet ad­vo­cates to re­duce New Zealand’s land­fills by in­spir­ing shop­pers to buy re­cy­cled fash­ion.

‘‘The world now con­sumes a stag­ger­ing 80 bil­lion pieces of cloth­ing each year, so I have de­cided I am not ad­ding to this insanity any­more,’’ Probst said.

‘‘I only buy sec­ond­hand and I aim to in­spire others to do the same.’’

To pro­mote the pop-up shop Probst posted to @my­con­cious­closet a col­lec­tion of stylish out­fits cre­ated out of clothes avail­able at the pop-up shop.

The pop-up shop will be open un­til Au­gust 11 and of­fers win­ter clothes, linen, ac­ces­sories, shoes and heaters - with all items cost­ing un­der $20.

All pro­ceeds go to pa­tients liv­ing with a life-lim­it­ing ill­ness cared for by Mercy Hospice Auck­land.

This was the first time Mercy Hospice Auck­land had col­lab­o­rated with a so­cial me­dia user, such as Probst.

SHANI WIL­LIAMS/STUFF

Hospice saw a huge line of cus­tomers when they opened their sec­ond­hand store at Unitec.

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