About seven months ago, November 23rd 2016, our first Drop Market opened at Nea Kavala refugee camp. On what must have been a chilly Wednesday morning, our very first customer was a family who “bought”, amongst other things, two pairs of winter shoes, a belt and a coat. Since then, we have distributed more than 35,000 items to around 500 families. Now, we’re celebrating a turnover of one million “Drops”.
How does it work?
In the last few years, the crypto currency Bit Coin has entered the world economy. In Greece, A Drop in the Ocean`s very own virtual currency – Drops – has entered the economy of Nea Kavala refugee camp. At the start of every week, each family is assigned a market time, as well as a shopping allowance of 120 Drops per adult and 100 Drops per child.
At the market, we are not only offering people a random set of clothes. The intention is to provide a complete shopping experience where the shoppers decide what they do and do not like. All donations are carefully sorted and anything that is ruined, dirty or unsightly will never reach the store shelves. For a proper shopping experience, we’ve set up unique shopping hours for each family, we provide fitting rooms and a separate room for women.
To put things into perspective: for one million Drops, you can buy 10,000 pairs of sandals or 50,000 pairs of boys’ shorts. In winter, a million Drops will get you 25,000 pairs of winter socks for your cold feet.Underwear is our most popular product, with a total of 5,861 pairs sold. Coming in at number two: t-shirts, almost 4,000 sold. It’s nice to see dresses at the top, too; 454 dresses in various sizes sold. Our least popular product? Well, during the seven months the market has existed, only one tie has been sold.
Now that we can follow demand on a month-by-month and day-to-day basis, we know – for example – that Thursdays have the highest turnover. We have worked to make our sales statistics easily accessible, and aim to use the stats in a way that will lead to even better help for the camp residents. We have already raised the price for underwear and t-shirts. The next time someone would like to donate clothes in say March, we aim to know much more about the relevant demand.
Anne, the responsible market manager for the past months receives the diploma for the one million Drops on behalf of all the volunteers.
A diagram showing all the categories we have distributed more than 400 of.
Sharing the surplus
Just like Gjensidige and Coop (a Norwegian insurance company and grocery chain), A Drop in the Ocean is also sharing the surplus with our “customers”. Everything distributed through our Drop Market has either been donated or purchased locally with donated funds. We make helping easy! If you want to support our work for the refugees i Greece, please click here!
Thank you to everyone who donates and to everyone who has worked at the market!
A Drop in the Oceans Drop Market team ready to celebrate one million “Drops”