Oxfam Shelflife: Making Charity Shops Social Museums via the Internet of Things
27 February 2012
As reported on today's BBC Technology, Oxfam has launched its new Shelflife system linking goods with the past using QRCodes.
Ever wished an object could tell its story? That’s the idea behind Oxfam’s unique pilot scheme, Oxfam Shelflife. Powered and based on the idea behind Tales of Things, the Oxfam Shelflife app uses QR codes to enable the public to discover the stories behind Oxfam’s donated, ethical and Unwrapped products, and even share their own stories for the items they donate. The project is the latest innovation from Oxfam which promotes sustainability by encouraging people to look beyond disposable consumerism. The stories behind vintage and second-hand items are all part of their desirability. At the moment these stories can be lost when an item is acquired by a new owner but Oxfam Shelflife enables the stories to stay with the items in a more long-lasting way.
Oxfam’s Sarah Farquhar, Head of Retail Brand said: “Every item has a story to tell and Oxfam Shelflife enables people to share these stories. We’ve found that items with an interesting story behind them are instantly more appealing to our customers so we hope Oxfam Shelflife will encourage people to love items for longer. This commitment to sustainability is an important part of what Oxfam shops bring to the high street.”
The scheme allows donors to ‘tag’ a QR code to their donated object, using the free Oxfam Shelflife app on their iPhone and share the story behind the item for the next owner to discover. Shoppers who visit the participating Oxfam stores can then scan the QR code on the item, via the app, which will take them to the unique story behind the object. Usually QR codes direct users to a website or URL but the Oxfam Shelflife app enables users to engage and interact with the technology, taking QR codes on to a new level.
For further information, please contact Andrew Hudson-Smith