Free Store McMaster

Mission Statement 

  • Support waste diversion practices by emphasizing and encouraging eco-friendly and sustainable waste management behaviours that resists norms of a “throw-away” society.
  • Prompt the McMaster and Hamilton community in re-evaluating existing definitions of ‘waste’
  • Challenge capitalist and consumerist frameworks by re-defining what constitutes as ‘valuable’.
  • Build a culture of skill sharing and exchange.
  • Support students in accessing resources which may otherwise be inaccessible for students experiencing financial barriers.
  • Educating students about the politics of waste diversion and the intersectionality of sustainable living.

Our Core Values 

  • Refuse: practicing conscious consumerism by purchasing items and engaging in buying processes which reduce the negative impacts of consumption of the world. For instance, by purchasing locally or buying pre-loved items.
  • Repair & Reuse: investing in the repair of owned items rather than buying new ones to replace them. This may also include upcycling items to give them a new function and life.
  • Reduce: purchasing thoughtfully and resisting the urge to buy.
  • Recycle: minimizing carbon footprints by recycling materials and items appropriately.
  • Intersectionality: acknowledging that an individual’s ability to live sustainability is impacted deeply by a number of factors, including existing power structures, historical legacies, socioeconomic status, race, culture, gender, and etcetera. As such, respecting that ‘sustainable living’ may manifest itself differently across different lives.

Our Initiatives

  • Monthly Free Stores: a free-of-cost market aimed to connect students with a number of items, such as sporting equipment, books, home goods, clothing and etcetera, that have been donated by other students on campus.
  • Free Repair Sessions: repair shops which provide students the opportunity to have their clothing repaired free of cost by student and community volunteers, as well as to learn how to repair their own clothing and other items.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Workshops: workshops aimed to expand student knowledge and skills on waste diversion.