When I first moved to Malawi, I brought all the clothes our family would need for the whole of our first term, which we expected to be two years. A few years later, I started making more of my skirts, the girls’ dresses, and even a couple of Matt’s shirts. After all, we do have some great, colorful fabrics here! But a couple years ago, I discovered DAPP. And I haven’t looked back.
DAPP is basically a large clothes-and-shoes Goodwill that gets entirely new stock every 2 weeks. It’s organized by style and by color, within the divisions of baby clothes, kids’ clothes, men’s, women’s, shoes, belts and ties, and household fabrics. Like any used clothing store, you have to do a bit of hunting, but I only slip in for 20-30 minutes every couple of weeks, and this time I easily found 2 nice pairs of slacks for me, board shorts for both girls, sandals for me, and Hello Kitty sneakers for Naomi. Last time I found 2 skirts for me, 4 tops for me, 2 pairs of jeans for Abigail, and a pair of Hello Kitty pajama pants for Naomi. Yes, Naomi is a bit obsessed with Hello Kitty, but she has never been disappointed at DAPP!
DAPP is completely restocked every 2 weeks. Over the course of the 2 weeks, they incrementally lower their prices so that by the end they are practically giving the leftovers away. It’s something like 100 kwacha for a bags of clothes the last day. Very picked over clothes, but really only about 14 cents. I like to go Thursday of the first week. Still great selection, and a really good price:
Conversions: 2,000 kwacha = $2.72, 4,000 kwacha = $5.44. And those are maximum prices. I paid less than 2,000 for most of the items I bought today.
DAPP is actually a non-profit aid organization. The clothes are all donated in Europe, shipped to Malawi, sold in retail stores throughout the country, and the proceeds go to fund aid work in Malawi. Smart and helpful!
So when you think of us missionaries over here, so far from favorite clothing stores, we’re really doing just fine. We like adventure, so it makes sense that we like this type of shopping! And by the way, in this picture Naomi is wearing a neon green Hello Kitty skirt – that she found at DAPP. 😁 She’s one happy customer!