The word stooping has many meanings, but in this case, it means reusing stuff that other people don’t want anymore. For example, when New Yorkers get bored with their furniture, they put it out on the street, and anyone interested can get them free. The stuff that no one wants will get picked up later by the trash company.
Besides offering a chance for people to acquire something extraordinary for free, it also plays an essential ecological role. By reusing things, we don’t buy new furniture; no trees need to be cut, the old furniture will not take up space in the dumpster so it can collect more trash in one turn and doesn’t have to visit the same street twice….
The benefits are plenty. Of course, many things are not reusable, so the Stooping NYC page is dedicated to saving stuff in good condition. People can find photos and addresses of interesting items, and also photos of how the old stuff has been reused. And they are fantastic. We are showcasing 40 of the best finds posted in the group, and we know you will love them.
The Stooping NYC group was created by a Brooklyn couple who wanted to unite people passionate about salvaging old things and saving money while at it. Since its creation, the group grew considerably and is still growing. And that means a lot of work. On a typical weekday, the group founders receive several hundred to a thousand submissions.
"Knowing what stoopers need and what makes them excited, we try to prioritize items we receive that fit into those categories!" they say. "But we really try to post as much as is physically possible (there are only 2 of us, and we want to make sure we share as much as we can with the amazing Stooping NYC community)."
When the pandemic hit, there was a lot of uncertainty about health and safety protocols, so the founders stopped taking submissions. Once the numbers started to drop and life slowly started going back to normal, the proposals began pouring in, much more than usual. It was because many people decided to leave New York for good.
But, no matter what the challenges are, this online community is determined to overcome them. "This project has been so successful in large part because it's exclusively on social media (Instagram specifically)!" they said.
"Hosting it on social media means that more people have access to everything it has to offer and not just New Yorkers; it also gives access to a piece of New York City culture to people who follow from far and wide. It also has enabled us to 'gameify' stooping, with stoopers sharing stories of things they spot, stoop, take home (#stoopjourney), and ultimately give new life to (#stoopingsuccess). It would really be challenging to tell stories around the pieces like we do on any other platform."