Credits - DR (http://cargocollective.com/unebanane/Givebox-Montreal-Terrasse-Ephemeres)

The Givebox - a sharing and caring box

Since 2011, Giveboxes have been popping up here and there on the sidewalks of major cities and in the sorts of places people meet up. People anonymously give unwanted items and take away anything they fancy.

A Givebox is somewhere between a closet and a garden shed built from recycled materials. Large wooden pallets, a rail, a few hangers and shelves suffice. And inside, you will find all sorts - clothes, books, DVDs, electrical appliances, toys, dishes... People give and take freely, but also give without taking or take without giving.

There is poetry in the Givebox concept... giving something without knowing who might receive it as if it were a bottle tossed into the sea.

There is poetry in the Givebox concept…giving something without knowing who might receive it as if it were a bottle tossed into the sea. It may have a story, a special meaning, and then just imagine it making a stranger happy - perhaps an insatiable reader, a DIY enthusiast, a music lover or someone in need. It has to be said there is something exciting and fun about rummaging through things. You might unearth a rare gem - a trinket for your collection or a worn leather jacket you absolutely adore.

Givebox first appeared in Berlin. Andreas Richter, a young German designer, wanted to get rid of a pile of things filling up his apartment that he couldn’t quite bring himself to throw away. So he put them in the street for passersby to take. Quite a common practice really – at one time or another everyone has rummaged through an abandoned cardboard box of clothes, books or old VHS tapes. Except that Andreas put it all in a big box that he built and carefully decorated. Much more attractive than a ripped plastic bag! His invention, which fits perfectly with Berlin’s thriving DIY culture, spread rapidly around the world. Since then Giveboxes have appeared in France, Belgium, Spain, England and Canada.

A brilliant initiative that has a disarming simplicity about it, is sustainable and caring, and based not only on a desire to give things to others rather than throw them away but also on a desire to give our stuff a second lease of life. Givebox promotes a sense of community along with the idea that something we no longer use or no longer want is not necessarily only good for the garbage bin!

Read more:

- A great article about Givebox on the official website of the Berlin tourist office
- In the same spirit, Little Free Library

Main picture: Credits - DR

Back to top
comments powered by Disqus