Creativity Through Reuse

SIF-re-create from Dominik Kosicki on Vimeo.

What’s the problem we are trying to solve?

Schools, pre-schools, and community groups have struggled to maintain budgets for the arts and educational supplies, disadvantaged schools even more than most, and art supplies in particular are expensive. On top of that, every year tons of unused, clean, reusable materials  are sent to landfill.

What’s the solution?

ReCreate was founded in 2013 with the aim of inspiring curiosity, creativity and care for the environment.  ReCreate enables people of all ages and backgrounds to unlimited access to an abundance of fantastic, open end materials at its Warehouse of Wonders for all kinds of educational, artistic and creative purposes.

Companies can send their clean unused, surplus and excess materials to the Warehouse of Wonders or else they can be collected for no cost which is then made available to its members for free. In 2015, Recreate diverted circa 150 tonnes of materials from landfill, realising its previously untapped value as art material or educational supplies.  Its membership model allows individuals and groups unfettered access to an abundance of unusual materials, for a nominal annual membership fee.

Those who benefit most from ReCreate’s Warehouse of Wonders are those who are most in need.  With financial pressure bearing down on many groups, ReCreate offers some relief. Schools, early childhood centres, community groups, and special needs groups, who may otherwise have not had access to art programmes, now have a source of quality materials. And Recreate’s workshops will train teachers, youth workers and others on how to work with the materials in a creative setting, making sure they are used to their full potential.

What impact can ReCreate make?

Extending beyond simply providing art supplies, the creative use of materials has been shown to inspire individuals to use their imaginations like never before  and to enable them to communicate in an alternative way. This has been particularly powerful in disadvantaged and special needs communities, where individuals benefit from being able to communicate through channels other than writing and speaking.

In 2016, with Animate’s help, including a grant of €10,000, ReCreate aims to identify how to scale up the model across Ireland, and to identify and test new revenue streams such as Corporate Training for this amazing social enterprise.