Laura Smith is setting up a Free Store in Los Angeles next month! It sounds like a great idea, so I am passing her query along to potential L.A. collaborators via the Eco-Village blog:
Vassar College student and L.A.-native Laura Smith is dedicating her summer to establishing a free store in Los Angeles.
Set to launch in June 2012, Free L.A. will seek to divert waste and promote reuse while spreading awareness and engaging the community in dialogue about environmental and social issues. All items in the store will be free — it will operate on donations, namely clothing, books, and CDs — and it will incorporate a time-share and skill-exchange component. It will be a space in which community organizations and individuals can host free events for the public, including themed discussions and workshops, even events ranging from knitting lessons to yoga classes to open mics.
Free stores have existed in a variety of contexts and capacities, including at schools, such as the Vassar College Free Market, in storefronts, such as the Baltimore Free Store, as guerrilla stands, like No Moola in Hawai’i, and even online, including Freecycle. What they share is a lack of fiscal exchange and a desire to reimagine the relationship both between people and their material goods and between people and their communities.
This free store is still searching for a home! Free L.A. is currently seeking free initial space from June-August — one room accessible to the public in the greater Los Angeles area, ideally near public transportation. While there will be no monetary compensation for the owner of the space, Free L.A. will collect donations for different charities from week to week and the owner will have a defining voice in selecting these organizations.
Want to get involved and join the Free L.A. team, or offer use of your space for the project? Contact Laura at lausmith [at] vassar.edu