Imagine if every time you bought a new piece of clothing, you changed someone’s life. That’s exactly what happens when you buy a T-shirt from Durban-based online store bonhappi-T.com, providing food for one person for one month!
Story Hayley Dennyson
In August 2016, Felix Schmitz and Susan Wright launched bonhappi-T in response to their belief that, given the chance, most people love to help others, but simply don’t know how. “We wanted to provide a quick, easy and fun way to make meaningful change a part of everyday life,” Susan explains. “As most people buy T-shirts fairly regularly, we chose Ts on the one hand and, as hunger is something everyone can relate to, we chose the provision of food to the underprivileged on the other.”
As dogs are also very much part of the family, they have also been included.
At purchase, customers choose to feed either a person or a dog for a month. If you choose to feed a person, 15% of the money from the sale goes to FoodForward SA, which is a member of the Global Foodbanking Network. They collect edible, within date, surplus food from manufacturers and stores, and redistribute that (together with additional food items, such as fruit and vegetables) to over 600 verified NPOs, including child, youth and adult development centres, and social welfare organisations. 365 days a year, thousands of hungry people are fed in this way.
Bonhappi-T also contributes to NPOs, including Project Dog and KZN Valley Dogs, that are focused on caring for dogs that have no one else to help them. Twenty to 25% of the money received from the sale of a dog bonhappi-T warmer goes towards the purchase of an 8kg bag of dog chunks, which is enough to feed an average-sized dog for one month.
The Ts come in a range of funky styles, all designed and produced in Durban, with assistance from Gemelli Clothing.
This is a wonderful concept, which speaks to a common desire to make a difference, and the response has been fantastic. All you need to do is take a look on social media to find some of the brand’s satisfied customers, including well-known names like George Calombaris from MasterChef Australia and Keri Miller from the ECR Breakfast Show.
There is talk of exciting artist and Vega student collaborations in the not-too-distant future, so keep an eye on the website!
Also available at 1000 Hills Chef School restaurant on weekends