By Khadija A. Malik
It all started in 2005 with that tragic earthquake. Nuria Rafique-Iqbal and Mahin Hasib rallied up volunteers and donations from designers to host the very first bargain basement sale. It was so successful that the idea just took off from there and every year the funds raised were distributed the funds to organizations in need.
The Fundraisers BBS brings together players in the fashion and design industry in a unique way. It creates a platform for giving back. The group of people comprising the Fundraisers are all volunteers who give their time and energy to put the event together. Designers/Brands donate all clothing/items which are then sold at discount. Companies offer resources, and celebrities pledge their time. BBS 2014 had the kind support of mystery guest Fawad Khan who helped us reach a 2.5 million rupee mark in funds raised for cancer awareness, education, flood rehabilitation, and old people’s homes. In 2015 we doubled that number with the continued support of wonderful stars, like Meesha Shafi, and crossed 5 million in funds raised towards these same causes.
By November of 2016 our scale had grown with 180+ brands in store, and we set our sights high and increased the number of charities to support. We pledged the funds we expected to raise to Pink Ribbon Pakistan, Bali Memorial Trust, Rising Stars Pakistan, and Lahore Welfare Hospital Society. A smaller percentage of the proceeds were promised to Todd’s Animal Welfare and The Giving Tree Foundation. In the house was the team from Lahore Se Aagay, who conducted the auction, and two of the stars, Saba Qamar and Yasir Hussain, had everyone smiling as they bought the pieces themselves to support the BBS cause Our group of volunteers manned those counters all day as BBS shoppers helped us cross the 10 million rupee mark.
As we gained momentum we separated the Home Sale and held a smaller event in April 2017, to help sustain the charities who solely rely on the money raised by the Fundraisers BBS, and within the first hour of the event sold out all inventory valued at 3.2 million rupees.
To facilitate this we have worked hard this year to provide a tech savvy sale that empowers the shopper with a cash free sale. Apart from credit card points, Sim Sim Finja is partnering with BBS this year to help shoppers set up their digital wallets. In addition we have partnered with Lumensoft Technologies to create our own software inventory.
Our first tier sponsors for the sale on this 5th of November are Sapphire and Interwood. We also have the kind support of our second tier sponsors Guard Filters, Daewoo Express and Royal Palm. Eight charities stand to benefit from the proceeds this year. These include Pink Ribbon Pakistan, Bali Memorial Trust, Rising Stars Foundation, Lahore Hospital Welfare Society, Pink Rickshaw, The Giving Tree, Medicare Health Foundation, and Door of Awareness. We look forward to seeing happy shoppers on the day as they browse through clothing, art, gift items and household goods from over 200 brands! And at 50 percent off who can really resist?
To get the low down on all things BBS, follow our instagram page @thefundraisersbbs.