What is a FreeShop?

Give-away shops, freeshops, or free stores are second-hand stores that are starting to appear in Northern European towns and cities, especially in the Netherlands and Germany. They are similar to charity shops, only everything is available free 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).

Freeshops in the Netherlands are mostly run by by squatters as an statement against the senseless consumerism of our times. The idea is not in the first place to provide for the poor, but to prevent people from buying new goods, to give them a change to escape the vicious circle of alienating work and exploitation and to show that things are much more (or less?) than their trade value. Give away shops are a real life proof that an economy without property (and therefore trade) is possible.

The slogan of the stores is:

”There is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed”

The first Dutch FreeShop was opened in Leiden (Netherlands), by members of the anarchist Eurodusnie Collective.

Freeshops are often housed in squats. Naturally the shops don’t make any profit, and are run by volunteers only.

In contrast, US-based Really really free market groups organize periodic “market days” in city parks. Participants are encouraged to share unneeded items, food, skills and talents (entertainment, haircutting, etc.), to clean up after themselves, and to take home any of their own items they were unable to give away during the event. Attendees might not be motivated by financial need or strictly anti-capitalist conviction.

This article was first published here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give-away_shop

http://www.weggeefwinkels.nl  (the Dutch page)

This ”adress list” was first published here http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weggeefwinkel. As it was constantly deleted we started our own wiki, that had voor many years. Due to a lot of  spam, lack of time and technical knowlegde we switched to wordpress in januari 2013.

But you can still have the adress of your shop on the adreslist and you can have a page here about your give away shop, just ask the webmaster. ln.slekniwfeeggewnull@ofni