Share Your Closet - a youth organisation that works all year round to bridge the nationwide clothing divide - has donated to a diverse group of over a hundred, including people of all ages, as well as the third gender (Hijra) at their first clothing drive.
Although the right to adequate clothing is recognised as a basic human right and is essential for a minimum standard of living, it is still a luxury to the underprivileged.
While we spend a fortune on new clothes and indulge ourselves every chance we get, there are people whose only clothes are tattered and torn and they don't afford to do anything about it. With their meager earnings, making ends meet in today's fast-paced world, is a struggle. This harsh reality is emblematic of a clothing divide.
The lack of access to the most basic resources, such as proper clothing, makes it impossible for them to rise above the poverty line. Throughout the year, through the different seasons, they survive without adequate clothing.
It's not uncommon to spot a bare-chested child or an elderly person in torn, threadbare clothes in urban or rural Bangladesh. Clothing has a dual purpose. Clothes are primarily utilitarian, they protect us from the elements of nature – the wind, the sun, the cold, and the rain.
Their secondary function is one of the great ethical values. Our attire not only enables us to attain a heightened sense of dignity, it also affects how we feel about ourselves and the image that we wish to project.
Torn, threadbare clothes are the most visible sign of poverty. Worn-out clothes make the marginalised subject to discrimination and encourage stereotypes. Many have reached out to the Share Your Closet team and opened up about the shame and stigma surrounding their lack of proper clothing.
"When I look at the well-dressed rich children, and then back at myself, I can't help but compare. It makes me sad," said Hasib a 10-year-old.
Sabina, an adolescent girl, is growing up with only two sets of tattered and discoloured dresses. A dishearteningly huge number of people have it worse than Hasib and Sabina.
At Share Your Closet, it is their belief that everyone is entitled to a life of dignity. They want to ensure that the less privileged can go about their life without stigma and discrimination and live with the dignity that is integral to a healthy and fulfilling life.
People revamp their wardrobe when they grow out of their clothes or the trend has evolved. Instead of tossing these articles of clothing in the trash, or letting them catch dust in the depths of our closet, they can donate them to the extremely needy.
This is where Share Your Closet comes into the picture. Their team collects the gently used clothes people no longer wear and redistributes them nationwide. However, clothing donations must meet their guidelines. The fabric must not be torn or discoloured. All donations are sent to the laundry to be washed and packed so they are as good as new before they reach the hands of the recipients.
Donate to Share Your Closet and share your happiness. Share Your Closet promises to take your donations to those who need them the most all around the country, even to the most remote areas of Bangladesh.
If you want to contribute and join the movement to bridge the clothing divide, visit @shareyourcloset.org on Facebook or @shareyourcloset.bd on Instagram.