We wrote about the Kost-Nix-Laden for its 1-year anniversary – now it´s celebrating its second birthday and it´s hard to imagine the old part of town without it. The range of products in the store is as colourful and diverse as its customers – everything from household goods to clothing, books and toys can be donated, exchanged or simply taken – free of charge, of course, as the German name (which means “costs nothing”) suggests. You can tell that many visitors are not used to taking things with them without paying for them and many are also overwhelmed when they see the amount of donated items, which often leads to more conscious consumer behavior. You can see that the exchange idea and social responsibility are popular and that many people are happy to contribute to waste prevention and sustainability. “What costs nothing is worth nothing” or “Nothing in this world is free” are not true here, the exact opposite is the case.
The Kost-Nix-Laden, part of the city council project “smartWOLF”, was initiated in January 2020 city marketing and opened on Bamberger Straße. In order to make room for the long-term tenant Atelier für Glaskunst Silberberger, the shop was relocated to the lower end of Hoher Platz in May 2021 and is well embedded between the Krasser hat shop and the men’s choir clubroom. Rent and ancillary costs are covered by the city council and the shop is run by a group of volunteers and everyone involved is greatly committed to the store’s success. It may sound strange to speak of a successful store when there is no financial success to report. Here success is measured in appreciation, co-operation, organisation and communication between everyone involved in the project, as well as satisfied visitors and an increase in the useful life of objects.
The store is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3pm to 5pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 12am. If you want to donate items outside of these business hours, there is a red wooden chest next to the front door to place them in. However, I would recommend taking the time to browse through the multitude of books, clothing, bed and table linen, crockery and glasses, toys and puzzles. Take a closer look at things that you would otherwise not reach for or find the missing piece of a collection here instead of always having to buy something new. It’s a different kind of consumerism that can really bring joy and is accessible to all people who are open to it.