Free Stores

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= free stores are second-hand stores where all goods are free


From the Wikipedia:

"Give-away shops, freeshops, or free stores are second-hand stores where all goods are free. They are similar to charity shops, only everything is available at no cost. Whether it is a book, a piece of furniture, a garment or a household item, it is all freely given away. They reflect a switch over from scarcity to abundance brought about by increased material wealth due to technological advances. The idea of free goods still carries some stigma, so many people who use these shops are those who are led to either by need (financially poor, such as students, single parents and the elderly) or by conviction (anti-capitalists).

A free store is a temporary market where people exchange goods and services outside of a money-based economy. The free store is a form of constructive direct action that provides a shopping alternative to the capitalist framework. The roots of the "free store" lie in the anarchist movement. Today the idea is kept alive by the new generations of environmentalists who view the idea as an intriguing way to raise awareness about consumer culture and to promote the reuse of commodities. Although free stores have been uncommon in the United States since the 1960's, the freegan movement has gained momentum, inspiring the establishment of free stores in multiple cities throughout the United States." (


"The first give-away shop was opened in Leiden (Netherlands), by members of the anarchist Eurodusnie Collective.

Give-away shops are often housed in squats. Naturally the shops don't make any profit, and are run by volunteers only.

There are quite a lot of give-away shops in Northern European towns and cities, especially in the Netherlands and Germany.

In the UK Free Shops (sometimes called Swap Shops) are held sporadically around the country. An example of a more regular one is in Norwich where a Free Shop has happened on the 8th of the Month in Norwich city centre from 10AM til 4PM since June 2004. It is organised by the Norwich Anarchists.

Another recent development in the give-away shop movement is the creation of the Freecycle Network that was started in Arizona for the purpose of connecting people that had extra belongings to get rid of and people that needed something, organized as discussion/distribution lists, usually hosted on one of the free websites." (

More Information

  1. Freecycle Network