The Free Store

A Place of Free Exchange and Fraternity

As old as Auroville, the Freestore is as the name suggests, a store where things are free. A descendant of early Auroville's barter and exchange system, the Freestore now offers a range of new and preloved clothes, crockery, books and music to any Aurovilian who needs. Yes, for free.

Aurovilians can bring any preloved clothes or things that they don’t use any more that someone else may like and pick up. The place is a blessing for many Aurovilians who live, as honorary voluntary workers, on a very basic maintenance and can 'go shop' this way. 

For in this ideal place money would no longer be the sovereign lord; individual worth would have a far greater importance than that of material wealth and social standing.

The Mother
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The Free Store is affiliated with Nandini tailoring and distribution, though Free Store has no members, being open to all Newcomers and Aurovilians alike. 

The Joy of Giving and Receiving

The Free Store started 40 years ago and has functioned uninterruptedly to be a place of free exchange and fraternity. It relies on the conscious participation of all Aurovillians and Newcomers. Everyone is asked to bring their items clean and in good condition for others to receive with joy.

Efforts are always made to arrange for a pleasant ambience and freshly laundered materials to be available. Aside from the pre-loved, the Freestore on occasion offers new clothes from Auroville companies like 'Auromode', 'Upasana' and 'Hidesign' as well as monthly donations by other Auroville units. Pressed flower handmade paper envelopes, writing paper and postcards add to the Freestore's quality of service. The Freestore doesn't stop at giving away things, it also offers a free tailoring service, which focuses on repairs but occasionally makes new garments.

Kamala at the Free Store
Close to the Ideals of Auroville

“Free Store has been around since the beginning of Auroville. In those days there was no money involved in Auroville, and Free Store was the service that took care of providing clothes and garments for the people. It’s one of the services that is still around after 50 years, carrying forward the true spirit, and it’s the only service in Auroville that has no money exchange whatsoever. Why has the Mother given us a Free Store? What does Free mean? It’s Free from yourself! By giving, you become more free, and you experience the joy of sharing.”

-Kamala, who has been working at the Free Store since the 1980s.

Read the full article here on Auroville Adventure 

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