Local Heart, Global Soul

March 16, 2010

Emmaus, a kringloopwinkel with a difference… Beeklaan 315.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A few posts ago, on March 10th , I wrote about the main and more well known Dutch “kringloopwinkels”.

Well, to fully inform you I need to take you a step further into this subject and tell you about “Emmaus” and what they do.

First, you need to learn this new Dutch word, it’s  pronounced “em-mouse”, and they too are a type of Kringloopwinkel (second-hand/recycling shop).

There are only 30 of them in the Netherlands (compared with 220 of the other “kringloopwinkels”) and two Emmaus’s in The Hague (compared with 19 of the other kringloopwinkels in The Hague/Den Haag).

So ? Competition? well, kind of, but also not. Emmaus is also fulfills a very important role in Dutch society and are a very special business indeed.

Firstly it might be helpful to know that you can’t just have a “garage sale/yard sale” in The Netherlands.  You need a permit or a license from the City Council.  There is an exception to this rule only for one day per year: Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day on the 30th April) when the whole country goes flee market mad, and whole streets are filled with kids sitting on blankets selling toys etc.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yes we do have a Dutch “Ebay” and our own local version of Ebay called “Marktplaats”  but all in all you will find that in most areas of town Kringloopwinkels of one sort of the other are very well patronized.

So what’s the big difference with Emmaus?  Well, they are an organisation that helps in particular two types of people:  the first we call in Dutch ” daklozen” which literally means ” without a roof” (read: people who sleep on the street) and the second are the ” thuislozen” which literally means ” without a house” (read: people who sleep under a roof, but in temporary, transient situations and who have no fixed abode of their own).

Emmaus opening hours also differ massively from the more regular open 5-6 days a week Kringloops.

This Emmaus is open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 13.00 to 16.00.

The one  on the Beeklaan  is a bit of a puzzle.. its a shop of two halves,  the first half being on the corner of the Beeklaan and Daguerrestraat,  and consists of a lot of kitchen equipment, clothes,cloth, toys and books, and if you continue down the Beeklaan until you reach the other corner of the same block (corner Beeklaan and Galileistraat) then you find the other half of it, and there you will find more bric-a-brac, hardware and household items. Together the two are one.

I tried several times to take photographs inside these shops, but to be honest it was a waste of time, every time I tried the paces were so full of people looking for a bargain that you couldn’t get any decent shots of the merchandise.  To say it was a “squeeze” inside was an understatement !

There is so little space inside that lots of stuff is parked on the street for the few hours that they are open…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here is part of the Emmaus  manifesto ( and the English translation I’ve made after it):

Emmaus, meer dan tweedehands alleen

U kent Emmaus misschien van de winkels en markten met tweedehands artikelen, maar onze organisatie is meer dan dat. In negen woonwerkgemeenschappen bieden we onderdak aan wie dat om welke reden dan ook nodig heeft, met name dak- en thuislozen. Daarnaast wonen er mensen die uit idealisme voor Emmaus hebben gekozen. De winkels voorzien in het onderhoud van deze groepen. Ook zijn er vrijwilligersgroepen, waar mensen een leuke en zinvolle dagbesteding kunnen vinden. Voor de meeste groepen geldt, dat ze van de omzetten projecten op het gebied van armoedebestrijding in en ver buiten Nederland kunnen steunen. We zetten ons graag in voor diegenen, die het minder hebben dan wij.

“Emmaus, more than just Second Hand

You may know Emmaus as the market for second-hand goods, but our organization is far more than that. In nine living and working communities we offer a roof to anyone who wishes or needs one, for whatever reason, especially to those without a home. Aside from this there are people who have also chosen to live here for idealistic reasons. The Emmaus shops provide a livelihood for these people as well as our groups of volunteers, and are places where people can spend their time in nice and useful manner. Most of these groups can support other projects in the field of fighting poverty with their turnover, not only in the Netherlands but also outside the Netherlands. We love to support those who less prosperous than we are.”

What an excellent idea… I can support that one too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Emmaus Den Haag, Kringloopwinkel. / Beeklaan 315,  / 2562 AJ  Den Haag. / Tel: 070-3457477

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. What a brilliant thing to do. It sounds like just the kind of thing they would do in the Netherlands. I would shop there almost every day, knowing my money went to projects like this… fabulous!

    Comment by pienbiscuits — March 16, 2010 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

  2. We have something similar to this where I live.
    It’s a good thing.

    Comment by Rita — March 16, 2010 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  3. I desperately want to be a Kringloopwinkel in my next life. Emmaus is fabulous, I think I’ll be one of those.
    I found myself scouring your photos looking for treasures. *sigh* So many hidden gems…so far away.

    Comment by shesboxingclever — March 16, 2010 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

  4. Hello. I find your article really interesting. I’m a journalist in The Underground Paper in The Hague, and I’m writing an article about second hand shops in the city and places where goods can be donated. I’m wondering if I can use one of your pictures of Emmaus to illustrate the article. I would of course mention your name under the picture. Unfortunately we can’t pay you because it’s a free newspaper and we are all volunteers. You can contact me at (email address removed by Kiwidutch to prevent spam) I’d appreciate an answer soon, since the deadline is tomorrow :P. Thanks for your time.


    Comment by Carla — October 31, 2012 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

    • Carla, Welcome to my blog!
      Thank you for the kind words about my articles and photographs, I’m delighted you like them enough to want to use them.
      As long as you give a credit in the form of a link back to my blog then using any of the photographs for you article would be totally fine. Regards… Kiwi.

      Comment by kiwidutch — October 31, 2012 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

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