If The Girl Store sounds a bit X-rated, that’s because it’s supposed to: The site, sponsored by a charity for Indian girls called Nanhi Kali, is trying out a somewhat provocative approach to wooing would-be donors. The goal of the Girl Store is to provide young Indian women with the means to get an education, so they can escape the all-too-common fate that the site’s name suggests: being sold into marriage, or forced into sex slavery.
Image via Mediabistro
“It’s true that girls are literally being sold into slavery, and we wanted to pick up that thought to make [helping them] provocative” said the creative director of StrawberryFrog, the agency that designed the site.
Click to the homepage, and you’re greeted with moving images of young women (models are pictured, but they represent real girls whose names and ages are displayed). Each stands next to a list of products that people can purchase — pencils, a backpack, a lunch box, shoes, a school uniform, workbooks — that will help each girl receive an education. The concept and design are similar to Donate-A-Meal, a charity based out of Düsseldorf that helps feed hungry children.
Using images of adorable kids to try to encourage giving isn’t new — Feed the Children has been doing it for years — but the combination of the ease of online shopping and the touching pictures of children has been startlingly effective: According to Mashable, every available item posted sold out within 12 hours of launch.