September 16, 2016

U of L Free Store opens for students

Photo by Eric Matthews

By Eric Matthews–

A store just opened on campus that’s definitely in your price range.

The U of L Free Store opened for the semester on Sept. 14. All members of the campus community can shop for clothes, office supplies, small home furnishings, dinnerware, electronics and other miscellanea free of charge.

The Free Store gets all of its stock from donations. Members of the U of L community can drop off their unwanted items in a bin next to the entrance, but a donation is not required to shop at the store.

The store is run by Group Recycling And Sustainable Solutions (GRASS), a student organization dedicated to addressing environmental concerns on campus. The store supports that goal by helping to “waste not want not.”

“The mission of the Free Store is to pull out as much as possible from the waste stream in terms of clothes and dorm necessities,” said GRASS president Austin Putty, who helps staff the store. “They can come here and get things they might need for free, instead of having to find them elsewhere for a worse price.”

The Free Store began four years ago under the leadership of fellow GRASS member Laura Krauser, who graduated last May. Her vision was to help students through the financial hardships of college life while also helping the planet.

The idea caught on and the store continues to do a steady business.

Junior Shelby Hatfield stopped by the store for the first time on Wednesday, snagging some vintage clothing and a drink coozie. Always on the lookout for a bargain, Hatfield said she was drawn to the store because of its gratis goods and convenient hours. Hatfield looks forward to returning in the future.

“Having the Free Store on campus is important to the U of L community because it’s an easily accessible way to obtain clothing and other home items that would normally be full price at a department store,” said Hatfield. “It’s a great way to practice sustainability and learn about the importance of saving money.”

The Free Store will operate 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays until the end of the semester, reopening in the spring with new hours.

Photo by Eric Matthews/ The Louisville Cardinal

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