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'Rethink your relationship to stuff' at Seattle ReCreative

You’ve heard the saying, 'One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.'

Seattle ReCreative, a creative reuse center in the heart of Greenwood, perfectly embodies this concept of creatively looking at what some would consider garbage.

Lise Bengson, Programs Director at Seattle ReCreative, defines creative reuse as "rethinking your relationship to stuff." Material that some consider unusable may be just the material another person needs to create something new.

And that’s where ReCreative comes in: serving as a sort-of thrift store for art and creative supplies, and a source of creative inspiration for the community.

Bengson notes, "Creative reuse centers are facilities that collect donated materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill, and resell them to the community."

The centers serve a dual function - reduce waste and provide affordable creative materials for the community. Bengson adds that these centers “reduce the amount of usable material entering the waste stream, provide communities with low-cost access to creative materials, and stimulate creative activity within the communities they serve.”

Everyone wins with creative reuse!

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Wanting to create a creative reuse center in Seattle, community members Jenna Boitano and Emily Korson came together to start ReCreative in 2015. ReCreative consists of a retail shop filled with creative materials, as well as onsite classes and summer camps for the community.

The retail shop is filled to the brim with all kinds of materials - paper, fabrics, buttons, postcards, yarn, paint. If you can find it at a craft store, you can probably find it at ReCreative. And while programming and classes are currently limited, (check out their schedule for current offerings) pre-COVID classes and events included topics such as drawing, macrame, beaded lace, visible mending, block-printing and knitting.

Everyone is creative, and everyone can get involved at ReCreative. Whether you donate equipment or materials to the retail shop, shop for new-to-you materials, or attend a class or event, supporting ReCreative means you are contributing to a more sustainable and creative community.

"Every creative reuse project is an opportunity to rethink the materials around us and how they could be re-incorporated into something new," Bengson explains.

How might you look at the materials around you differently? Check out ReCreative to get inspired and participate in the creative reuse movement.

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