The mission of the FreeStore is to help the University of Alaska Fairbanks reduce it's ecological footprint by reducing the amount of resources it uses and waste it produces.


About the FreeStore

The FreeStore is an organized location that provides free clothing, dorm and household items, books, movies, gadgets, accessories, and more - right here in the Office of Sustainability. Why visit the FreeStore?

  1. Find sweet clothes that make a fashion statement.
  2. Save money.
  3. Reduce waste.
  4. Social justice! Refuse to support the companies that sell products from countries with unethical treatment of factory workers.
  5. Create less air and water pollution than what would be generated by making a new item or recycling.

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M-F, year round

Office of Sustainability - Upstairs Lola Tilly Commons

When You Visit the FreeStore:
Please sign in by putting a tally mark on the sheet provided. Since this is a new project, the number of visitors recorded on the sign-in sheet is our most solid evidence that this service is used and valued.

The items in the FreeStore are of course free, but please don't take any of the shelving or racks used to display items unless they are clearly marked.

Finally, when you visit the FreeStore feel good about taking an action to help prevent the over-consumption of products. By reusing perfectly intact items you are not only keeping them out of the waste stream but you are also making an important choice not to wastefully consume.



The idea for the FreeStore came from Oberlin College. Their student-run permanent swap-site is also called the Free Store, and was created to reject unethical consumption and reduce waste. Oberlin College FreeStore site:
"Why buy new towels at Wal-Mart if a slightly used but still serviceable one is available for free?" writes Kym Buzdygon, Oberlin class of '07. Those were Christin Anderson's thoughts as she came to Fairbanks from Oberlin in 2013. Soon after, UAF student Alexander Bergman authored a proposal that would bring the FreeStore to life.
To learn about how you can submit a proposal to the RISE board, click here.
Besides the FreeStore, there are three avenues for students to exchange materials for free.
  • The Really Free Market was started by Lydia Anderson and Michelle Barrlett in 2008 and continues every spring. It serves as a massive, free yard-sale style event as students leave their possessions at the end of the school year, and summer-goers gather to take what they need. The organizers are all volunteers, and the Family Resource Center picks up any items that are not taken.
  • Also organized by Anderson and Barrlett is the Winter Warm Up, a similar give-away day intended to provide warm clothing and winter gear for new students who otherwise could not access it. Again, the event is entirely volunteer-driven and very popular.
  • The West Farmer's Loop transfer station is the only other stable source of free goods, and was the inspiration for a successful blog, Arrogantly Shabby.

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