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ReCraft in Greenville is SC’s first creative reuse center

Upcyling – or repurposing of quality, reusable materials – has become a movement across the country. More than 100 creative reuse centers are now operating throughout the United States and South Carolina’s first one has popped up inside Next Manufacturing/Synergy Mill Makerspace on Birnie Street in West Greenville.

ReCraft Creative Reuse Center collects reusable, quality materials from Upstate manufacturers, retailers, institutions and households, diverting items that have artistic and educational value from landfills. Rather than languish in landfills, diverted materials are being used by area teachers, students and professional artists for crafts and creative projects.

Since opening in March of this year, ReCraft has kept two 20-yard dumpsters of material from being dumped in local landfills, according to ReCraft Founder Grant Cothran.

Inspired to open ReCraft after visiting a reuse center in Durham, North Carolina, Cothran believes ReCraft will not only help local conservation efforts, but also can help schools and teachers bring learning to life with unique materials.

“I moved to Greenville about four-and-a-half years ago,” Cothran explained. “I was traveling a lot with my corporate job and I felt like I wasn’t having any local impact. After visiting the reuse center in Durham, I thought that this would be a great concept to bring to the Upstate.”

ReCraft’s mission is to promote creativity, conservation and community through reuse, and it invites community members to clear their creative clutter and support a local nonprofit by donating fabric, papercraft, knitting, jewelry, collectibles and a lot more.

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To help prospective donors, ReCraft has published a Periodic Table of Creative Reuse that includes everything from bottle caps and corks to patches and puzzle pieces. The table also includes a wish list of items wanted for ReCraft’s tool library such as pliers, rulers and rubber stamps, along with items not accepted by ReCraft such as open and used cans of paint, old computers and building materials.

ReCraft also invites the community to visit its pop-up holiday workshop inside Next Manufacturing at 400 Birnie Street. The all-you-can-craft workshop will be open until Dec. 28 for make-and-take projects, eco-friendly holiday gift wrapping or to use ReCraft tools such as stencils and glue guns for BYO crafting.

Workshop hours are 1-9 p.m. Wed-Fri and 9-5 on Saturdays. There is no admission fee to the ReCraft Holiday Workshop and all ages are welcome.

ReCraft hopes to have a permanent Greenville location in early 2020, Cothran said. For more information, visit the ReCraft website.

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