Budapest store to donate profits to koala hospital in Australia


  • Gretchen Kessler

1/7/2020 2:53 PM

‘Get a Life, Susan!’, a funky vintage shop recently opened on Eötvös utca, is donating a portion of its sales to a non-profit koala hospital in Australia in response to recent deadly bushfires.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Clothing for sale in the upstairs portion of Zarina's shop.[/caption] Zarina Isambaeva launched her shop in 2019, with the goal of supporting sustainability, equality and feminism. It’s not the first time she has sent proceeds to a charitable cause – in October, she set up a donation for the Rainforest Alliance, as fires ripped through the Amazon.

“This time, the disaster is even bigger,” Zarina explains. “As clichéd as it sounds, I believe everybody should do a little something to help.” To this end, 20% of sales of clothes, bags and shoes will go to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, which is building drinking stations across Australia to bring water to animals with no other access, as streams and creeks have dried up in the blaze.

Photo: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

The Koala Hospital was established in 1973 as part of Koala Conservation Australia Incorporated, a non-profit organisation. There is a main treatment room, eight intensive care units and rehabilitation yards which can house up to 100 koalas. The hospital set up a GoFundMe in October with the aim of raising A$25,000 (5.2 million HUF). An incredible A$2 million (410 million HUF) has been donated instead, allowing the organisation to build over 100 drinking stations, and share money with other aid groups in Australia. Their Facebook page is updated with pictures and stories of the koalas taken into their care.

Photo: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

It is estimated that some 500 million animals have already died in the fire. “That drives me crazy,” says Zarina. “First I thought I would make a personal donation, but then I realised I could mobilise the resources I have – my shop and social media platforms – and make more substantial contributions.”

The shopkeeper found the koala hospital while researching aid organisations in Australia, and the rescue service struck a chord. “I like that they are sharing money with other organisations. Depending on the amount collected, I might also be able to send money to the firefighters’ fund,” she continues. “A lot of volunteers are fighting the fire with their own resources, and not getting paid.”

Zarina’s shop is an eclectic mix of vintage clothing for men and women, handmade ceramics, bags, wallets, home slippers and shoes, as well as jewellery from Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, new eco-friendly face pads and hand-crafted candles. The clothes are all vintage and secondhand, each article picked by Zarina to form a curated collection. Right now, there is a 20-30% sale on sweaters, jeans and jackets.

Photo: Get A Life, Susan!

Photo: Get A Life, Susan!

It’s a long way from Hungary to Australia, and it may seem impossible to make a difference. Zarina hopes to bridge that divide with her koala support sale.

More information can be found on the Instagram page.

Get a Life, Susan!

District VI. Eötvös utca

Open: Thur-Fri 6-8.30pm, Sat-Sun noon-8pm

Photo: Get A Life, Susan!

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