I came across the Givebox in a magazine called E Magazine (it’s an environmental magazine and can be found online – click here to check it out, it’s pretty interesting!) and I couldn’t wait to share this project!
Giveboxes are described by Chloe Lloyd as “a large, furnished closet: Anyone can fill the space with unwanted items and anyone interested in those items can take something they like.” The closets are decorated with wallpaper, shelves to store items, and rails on which to hang clothes. They have been embraced by their local communities and maintained by all of those who use or just simply appreciate the idea of “freecycling”.
Chloe also writes, “The anonymity of the Givebox also supports the notion that it doesn’t matter who we are giving to as long as there is someone who is in need of goods that we no longer use.” It also subscribes to the “broken window” theory, that a maintained environment is less subject to vandalism. The Giveboxes have started to pop up in Vienna, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, and Copenhagen. I found a fundraising page for a Givebox project that is trying to get off the ground in San Francisco.
The Givebox has a dedicated Facebook page that will provide anyone who is interested with the plans to build their own community Givebox. So far, the Giveboxes around Berlin and Dusseldorf (the project’s roots are in Germany) have been received with much enthusiasm and the people seem to really love these community trash-to-treasure organized spaces.
Here’s a look inside one of the Giveboxes in Dusseldorf, Germany: