Nine months ago, Vishal Dhaybhai, 31, a design entrepreneur from Udaipur in Rajasthan, was looking for an affordable smartphone. His friends suggested that he get a second-hand one, and directed him to a local store called Dariya Dil Dukaan (DDD).
“When I got there, I found a couple of smartphones that looked good and were in good condition,” says Dhaybhai, “I asked the price, and they told me the phones were free. I was delighted, and picked one.” Back home with his free new phone, Dhaybhai had a thought. “The next day, I went back and gave them my old phone, which was still in good condition,” he says.
“I felt, if a stranger could share something and make me happy, I should do the same for someone else.”
That, in essence, is the principle of freecycling, a philosophy that originated in the US, encouraging consumers to recycle goods by passing them on for free- and take from a common pool of donated goods, rather than buying fresh merchandise.