By Cristina Vintimilla
– On March 17, AUC students Steffi Geelen and Isa Altink opened a free shop in the AUC dorms that allows students to exchange unused or unwanted things.
The purpose of the shop is to encourage students to recycle their objects such as clothes, books or furniture instead of selling or throwing them away.
“Both of us always buy our stuff second hand because there’s a lot of opportunities in the city,” said Geelen. “For me, it’s very logical that if someone else doesn’t want something anymore, then it can go to someone else.”
The free shop is open 24/7 and is located on the fourth floor of the first dorm building in room 732 (above the kindergarten). Geelen received an approval from the string and said it was the perfect room because it wasn’t being used by the campus committees.
“I had the idea for a while but didn’t do it at first. Then, I had sort of a life crisis, redecorated my whole room and threw out a lot of clothes so we were like ‘lets do it now’”, said Altink.
The first portion of clothes was donated by Altink and Geelen themselves, but the shop continues to grow. Many students supported the idea by bringing their things to the shop. One can find a variety of items from tote bags and small wallets to summer shorts and winter jackets.
“I came the day it was set up and took three items including a dress and a jumper,” said third-year student Tanushree Kaushal. “I left a couple of my dresses, a T-shirt and a blazer and now I see some of them on people around the campus.”
The free shop has traditional items that you could can find at a local thrift shop but it also welcomes unusual things such as half-used bottles of soap, mustard or salad dressing.
“I think it’s surprising that mustard is here. I don’t know if it’s ok to eat but I like the initiative,” said exchange student Kristina Mau Hansen.
Geelen says that the free shop would fit in well with the welfare committee that is underway at AUC. This group would will set up initiatives to help low-income students save money for things like academic books.