by Sarah Goff, Co-Founder & Executive Director of The Repurpose Project
Overconsumption is destroying the planet. Harvesting, mining, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping ALL have tremendous carbon footprints.
The problems with overconsumption run deeper than just carbon dioxide emissions. The manufacturing process requires material input, and this material input is the limited resources of this planet. This squandering of resources is responsible for much of the deforestation, destructive mining, and habitat loss that are causing an alarming loss of biodiversity. Many of the factories that manufacture material are deliberately placed in low-income areas, disproportionately harming the most vulnerable. Consumption and waste don’t just result in dumping valuable resources in the landfill. They are causing catastrophic human, animal, and environmental harm.
The climate crisis needs solutions, and The Repurpose Project has a plan to build a revolutionary reuse infrastructure that can compete with new retail in convenience, size, and numbers. When we build a model that showcases what a large-scale circular economy looks like, it can be replicated across the planet. We must address overconsumption, and we cannot do this without an alternative retail system. We need to build a better reuse system, and we are the visionaries who will innovate a reuse retail system that will revolutionize the management of resources.
The Repurpose Project is a magical place. We are a reuse retail store that helps the environment and offers people low-cost supplies. Our little store addresses some big problems: environmental degradation, deforestation, income inequality, human rights abuses, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable resource management, environmental injustice, and the climate crisis. During these highly polarized political times, we are an organization loved by all. Everyone can see the value of reuse, and, of course, everyone loves a great deal.
For 10 years we have done the heavy lifting of building our organization from the ground up, all with almost no funding. We have prided ourselves on being social entrepreneurs. For the sustainability of our organization, we designed a financially independent non-profit, funded with its own revenue stream. We are proud of what we have accomplished, but there is still a frightening volume of reusables being trashed in our community and around the world. We want to do more. We need to do more. We do not have time to wait for someone else to come rescue the planet from overconsumption. We can no longer turn our heads and mutter something like, “if only we had more space we could accept them,” when asked to pick up 100 sturdy wooden desks or 30 perfectly good refrigerators. There needs to be more reuse stores. The volume we are asked to accept is truly remarkable.
The lack of reuse infrastructure is shocking. We have a plan to expand, but we need everyone’s help for the next step – purchasing a building. We can’t do it on our own. The pre-approved bank loan will only cover part of the purchase price. If we raise the rest of the funds for the building now, it will strengthen our organization’s financial security for the future. This will free up funds from expensive rent, allowing us to increase wages and expand again soon. A second location will provide another wonderful reuse resource for our community. Our plan going forward is to build the largest, most innovative network of reuse stores in the world. Thank you for your support over the last 10 years! We know you love us, Gainesville, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you! Give us the boost we need right now, and we will not disappoint you!
To learn more about our plan for the reuse revolution, find us at www.repurposeproject.org.