The Free Market began by the initiative of a small group of Trent students in 2005, who wanted to promote the values of reusing and recycling over discarding and “re-consuming”. By opening the Free Market ‘store’, they were able to serve the environmental purpose of reducing waste materials through reuse, and the social justice purpose of providing free goods to those who need them. The name plays off the neo-liberal concept of a free-market.
Open several days a week and run by student and community volunteers, the Free Market is always stocked,with donations coming in daily. In addition to keeping the space open, the Free Market organizes numerous events each year, so watch out for giveaways on campus!
The Free Market receives no direct funding of its own. Even faced with this economic barrier, OPIRG and The Free Market remain committed to providing items free of charge. The Free Market is a wildly successful initiative that encourages reuse and aims to reduce stigma around using other people’s used items. Students and community members have shown great interest in The Free Market, exemplified by their abundant donations and their enthusiastic reuse of the goods available.
The primary goal of the Free Market is to provide a space for the redistribution of donated clothing and other items to everyone. At the Free Market “store” people can come in and take items they can use for free, without donating anything. This is not a bartering or trading system, but rather a space where items that are no longer needed by one person can be redistributed to those who need (or want) them. Everyone is welcome to stop by during the hours of operation and take items free of charge.
The Free Market is located next to the OPIRG Office in Sadleir House at 751 George St. N. Thanks to the dedication of OPIRG volunteers, the Free Market is open several days a week, year round. We now have a drop off bin permenantly located at the entrance of Bata Library. When you have clothes, household goods, books or non perishable food…drop them off in the Free Market bin at Bata library, Trent University or bring them to the basement of Sadleir House. All items will end up in the Free Market, to be given away at no cost to whoever needs the items. The house of operation do change occasionally so to find out current hours check our website or call us.
The Free Market is always looking for volunteers who could donate 2 hours per week to keep the project going. If you would like to be a part of this project or would like more information, please contact OPIRG at 741-1208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Free Market Manifesto Quilt is a handmade art piece created by volunteers and staff of OPIRG Peterborough. Like the Free Market project itself, the process of making the quilt was collaborative and Do-It-Yourself from start to finish. of the fabric and materials were recycled from Free Market donations, and the stencils were hand cut out of over-head projector sheets. The messages were silkscreened and sewn together by OPIRG staff and volunteers.
The 42 rectangles of the quilt lay out the raison d‘être of the Free Market and provide blocks upon which a more environmentally and socially just community could be built. Playing off the traditional 3 R’s of environmental sustainability – “reduce”, “reuse”, and “recycle” – the quilt goes further to present 42 ”R” messages that encompass the spirit behind the Free Market project including “respect the earth”, “respond to economic inequality”, and “reclaim the value of second hand”.