Re­tail ther­apy with­out a price tag

Michelle Swart finds out more about Jo­han­nes­burg’s swap­ping mall

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

IN ITS on­go­ing quest to en­cour­age South Africans to dis­cover affordable ways to have fun with­out com­pro­mis­ing on their life­style, Capitec Bank launched the coun­try’s first Swap­ping Mall in Jo­han­nes­burg dur­ing na­tional sav­ing’s month.

The event, which ran for just two days and was held at At­las Stu­dios, Mil­park, on July 30 and 31, in­vited Jo’burg­ers to bring along up to five good qual­ity, gen­tly used things they no longer wanted or used, to swap for other peo­ple’s stuff they want more. No money was ex­changed. More than 700 frugal trend­set­ters got their swap on and saved at this event.

Charl Nel, Capitec Bank’s Head of Strate­gic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions says, “Re­tail ther­apy — while great fun — can quickly spi­ral out of con­trol and land spenders in se­ri­ous debt. So, to give shop­pers that same buzz — with­out the price tag — we’ve cre­ated a unique re­tail space that looks and sounds like a typ­i­cal Jo’burg Mall; but in­stead, ev­ery­thing in it can be swapped; not bought.”

Once they’ve had their items graded and re­ceived to­kens in re­turn, swap­pers “check-in” at the Mall to browse through five unique “de­part­ments”: home ware; art & de­sign; fash­ion & ac­ces­sories; kids toys and books.

“An Es­sen­tial Swap­ping Guide was avail­able on Face­book to make the process as sim­ple as pos­si­ble. There, swap­pers can see what are ‘good swaps’ be­fore they ar­rive on the day; what ap­prox­i­mate grade their items will re­ceive as well as the qual­ity of things that will be avail­able,” ex­plains Nel.

In­side The Swap­ping Mall trendy Jo’burg fash­ion and fur­ni­ture up­cy­clers will also be host­ing work­shops. Hail­ing from a back­ground of in­te­rior de­sign and art direc­tion, the Rem­edy duo Jessica Baylis and Jéan Wild; NiceFinds founder In­di­anna Har­ris and Ivana Raguz of Imag­ine That!, who uses ev­ery­day items like milk car­tons to cre­ate home dé­cor, will cre­ate ex­clu­sive pieces like an up­cy­cled clock or a pen­dant neck­lace that used to be a belt in the 1980s for swap­pers to swap with.

The Swap­ping Mall isn’t the first time Capitec Bank has en­cour­aged South Africans to dis­cover how to have fun, with­out spend­ing any money. In fact, it is the third in a se­ries of in­ter­ac­tive events called The Live Free Pro­ject. Pre­vi­ous events were held in Dur­ban and Cape Town in De­cem­ber and Fe­bru­ary this year.

Left: Jean Wiid and Jessica Baylis, founders of Rem­edy De­sign, spe­cialise in fur­ni­ture res­ur­rec­tion that sources charm­ing and quirky pieces from the most un­ex­pected places and breathes new life into them. Bot­tom left: Ivana Raguz is a pas­sion­ate...

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