UPDATE!! As of April 28th we have raised $115,000! We have also had record sales that can be put towards the purchase! We can do this! Please donate to and share our fundraiser! We are looking for corporate sponsorships to help get us there. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
We need to raise $200,000 (the amount we are not able to finance on our own) to purchase a 20,000 sq ft building by May 16th, 2021. A large and well suited facility will allow us to triple our reuse efforts and begin building a circular economy we believe will revolutionize the way resources are handled. We want to build a large circular economy in Gainesville that can be a model for other cities around the world. We would not be asking for help unless we needed it, but after exhausting traditional loan options, we are turning to you to make this next step a reality.
Buying instead of renting is approximately half the price for 4 times the space!
The Repurpose Project is a magical place. We are a reuse retail store that fits within the framework of capitalism but still manages to help the environment AND help people with lower cost supplies. Our little store addresses some really big problems: environmental degradation, deforestation, income inequality, human rights abuses, loss of biodiversity, unsustainable resource management, environmental injustice, and the climate crisis. Even during these highly polarized political times, we are an organization loved by all because everyone can see the value of reuse and of course everyone loves a great deal.
We formed our nonprofit a decade ago because we saw a huge void in the reuse market. There were not enough thrift stores to deal with the volume of material being thrown away. Plus, many reusable materials are not accepted by traditional thrift stores even though much of it is interesting and valuable (building material, school supplies, etc). Our vision was to create a different type of thrift store that collected all of those “things” that were slipping through the cracks of traditional reuse stores and make them available to the general public via our reuse store. Turns out the volume of things slipping through the cracks is alarmingly large.
As our non-profit enters its 10th year of operations, we are both proud of what we have accomplished and also extremely aware of the monolithic volume of reusables that are still being trashed in our community and worldwide. The lack of reuse infrastructure is shocking. Just imagine for a minute the size and number of big box chain retail stores in your community. Now compare that to the handful of small thrift stores in your community. There are not enough thrift stores to recirculate the amount and variety of goods brought into the community by the big box stores.. To say it bluntly, thrift stores and the reuse economy are living in The Stone Age.
We envision a better system. This planet needs a better system. Yet, somehow the concept of a large scale reuse infrastructure and economy is nowhere to be found on the internet except for our website and our TEDx talk . Although you can find articles about the detrimental effects overconsumption is having on the planet, there are few practical solutions offered.
At The Repurpose Project, we’ve found a practical solution that works and it is time to scale up our model. We do not have time to wait for someone else to solve this problem. WE are the innovators and hard workers that can build a reuse system that will protect our planet and future from overconsumption and climate change. We believe that if we build a model to showcase what a large scale circular economy can look like, it will be replicated across the planet and have an enormously positive effect. The purchase of this building will ground us in financial security and allow us to begin building and expanding a revolutionary network of reuse infrastructures.
Why we need this: Over-consumption and the waste of resources is a major cause of climate change, natural area destruction, animal habitat loss, loss of biodiversity, human rights abuse, and environmental injustice to name a few.
The “stuff” in our lives has a tremendous carbon footprint that many people do not recognize. The entire production process (harvesting, mining, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping) uses energy and causes pollution. Many of the factories that manufacture material are deliberately placed in low-income areas and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable. The manufacturing process requires material input, the precious and limited resources on this planet. This manufacturing and associated use of resources is responsible for much of the deforestation and animal habitat loss that is causing the dramatic and alarming loss of biodiversity. The stuff we buy and waste is causing catastrophic environmental harm, it’s not just about dumping valuable resources in the landfill.
“We cannot tackle the climate crisis without addressing overconsumption, and we cannot address overconsumption without an alternative retail system. We need to build a better reuse system and we believe we are the visionaries and the hard workers to innovate a new reuse retail system to revolutionize a better way to manage resources.”
— Sarah Goff, Co-Founder & Executive Director of The Repurpose Project
Please watch our fundraiser video!
What will your donation pay for:
A Large Building for our Reuse Expansion – Every dollar raised will be put towards the purchase of a large building so we can expand our reuse efforts. We are currently hoping to purchase a 20,000 sq ft building that is for sale and nearby in NE Gainesville. It is very well suited for our needs with a large warehouse, large rollup door for truck deliveries, good parking, good road frontage, and expansion potential. Since we do not have a contract on this building (unless we find a guarantor) and because we can not promise we will raise the total amount needed in time, it might end up being a different property. We can promise; however, that all funds raised WILL go towards the purchase of a building for our expansion to be fully owned by our non-profit.
Thousands of Local Residents to Have Access to More Low Cost Salvaged Material – at the minimum this additional facility will be a wonderful asset to our local community. Our current building is located on the east side of town (the lower income and underserved part of town) and the building we are trying to purchase is also on the east side. There are very few amenities serving this community and providing access to lower cost materials is a wonderful thing to support. This additional facility will be able to accommodate larger items that are needed by our community: kitchen cabinets, appliances, furniture, building material and more. Access to these lower cost items help people save their precious dollars so they can be spent on other necessities like rent, food, and childcare….and hopefully beyond!
More Green Jobs – reuse is labor intensive, but also a rewarding job. We strive to create a wonderful work environment that pays a decent wage and respects our workers. We are proud of the 20 green jobs we have already created in town and see the huge potential in the reuse economy for many many more.
Less Items in the Landfill – means less new items needing to be made, means less pollution, means less harvesting and mining, means less environmental degradation…YOU will be helping us take the first step in creating a Revolutionary Reuse System that has the potential to spread across the world and change resource management forever. This dream of a reuse revolution and the development of a large-scale circular economy could prove to be the simplest of the many climate change solutions we need to save our planet and protect our future.
We can’t do it on our own. We have tried. The pre-approved bank loan will only cover part of the purchase price. We did offer the $600,000 (bank loan and downpayment) that we have, but it was not accepted by the building owners. The purchase price is $800,000. This leaves us $200,000 short.
We have taken our non-profit status to the extreme (it seems) and have always immediately reinvested any additional revenue back into the organization via increased staff members and staff wages. We believe strongly in paying our hardworking staff members a living wage. Plus, our mission is landfill diversion and increased staff numbers results in increased diversion rates. We’ve attempted to explain to potential lenders how our business is unique in that we don’t have a lot of upfront costs. We do not buy inventory and that allows us to avoid the pitfall of getting in over our heads with debt. Instead, we are able to closely follow our sales numbers and make micro adjustments as needed. Roughly 75% of all earned revenue goes directly back to wages. Over the last 10 years our staff numbers have seen a dramatic upward climb and we are very proud of the green jobs our organization has created. In general, if sales drop, we shift any extra project labor back into customer service and online promotions and we haven’t suffered any losses.
Why we need to buy instead of rent:
When we reached our limit with traditional funding we looked back at the rental option for expansion. It’s crystal clear that buying is not only better, but the only option we have for expansion. Example: We looked at renting a 5000 square foot retail space down the road and it is listed for $8800/month. That is unaffordable for a thrift store. If we can secure a mortgage (for the entire amount besides downpayment) and buy, it will be $4500/month for 20,000 sq ft. Buying instead of renting is approximately half the price for 4 times the space! Plus, we will have a stable monthly amount without threat of rent increases and we will be building equity. A building purchase will strengthen our organization’s financial stability for the long haul and allow us to increase wages and expand again soon using our own income instead of just paying exorbitant rent.
Please donate if you are able. Think of it as an investment in your future!! Or an investment in the future of your local community members. Your help now will make all the difference! If you want to make a large contribution and you are interested in speaking with us about it, please call our office phone at (352)647-0415. Also, if you can’t donate money, but still want to help, us please scroll down for other ways to help!
Ways to Donate:
- Go Fund Me
- Venmo – @Repurpose-Project
- Website donation button
- Donation at our store register (credit card, cash, check)
- Mail a Check: The Repurpose Project, 1920 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609 (Please let us know if one is on the way so we can be sure to look out for it)
- Let us know if you can pledge to match an amount raised or if there is an amount you’d pledge if a donation challenge is met. (Ex. You will match every dollar we raise up to our first $1000, or if we raise 175k, you will donate the final 25k to help us reach our goal).
Other ways you can help other than monetary donations:
- Share our fundraiser (ADD LINK) on your social media page: facebook, instagram, reddit, twitter, clubhouse, tiktok, etc
- Share our fundraiser in person or by phone with the people in your life that might be in a financial position to help us. A phone call is a special thing now!
- Create a Facebook fundraiser in your name for us. Facebook takes no fees! Click here for instructions on how to do this.
- Share our fundraiser with your other networks: job, school, organizations, groups.
- Help us find our angel investor or donor. Besides the $200K fundraising goal our other option is to find an investor willing to lend us the entire $700K (with interest).
- Get creative and develop a weird, artsy, creative fundraiser on your own or team up with us to make it happen! We are a hub for weird artsy people after all!!!
- Buy stuff in our store and tell people about us. Extra store income can all be put towards the purchase.
- Print out one of our fundraiser flyers and hang it up at your: school, workplace, coffee shop, or any other place people will see it!
Thank you so much for reading all of this! We greatly appreciate your interest in our organization and our bigger mission of promoting and building a large-scale reuse economy. We promise to continue working hard to combat climate change and bring awareness to the environmental harm of over consumption and natural resource depletion. With your help, we can do more!
The Repurpose Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization making your donations tax-deductible.
Still reading and want to hear a little more about our plan to ultimately build a network of reuse stores? Essentially we are talking about a reuse retail system that mimics traditional retail when it comes to variety, ease of shopping, store size, store numbers, and convenience. We want to build a reuse network that belongs in this century and can accommodate the tremendous volume of reusable items that are being discarded daily. This reuse system needs to include easy and convenient collection points and lots of them. There needs to be donation pickup services and delivery services. We envision large processing facilities and distribution centers that restock thrift stores with steady inventory so people know they will find what they need when they go to a thrift store. Sure, we might not be able to control the specifics completely, but it’s possible to restock a reuse store and have a steady inventory: 10 couches to choose from, 20 little office trash cans, 10 coffee pots, 10 dining room tables….you get the idea. There should be thrift stores with varying price points so people don’t get sticker shock when there is an antique item priced at $200 next to some worn out $3 chair. We want specialty stores that mimic the big box specialty stores: the used party supply store, the used building material store, the used electronics and appliance store, the used craft supply store. We want highly curated reuse stores for those who want them and are willing to pay a little extra for the curation and convenience. And we want the clearance junk shops for those people who like to dig for treasure and for all the items that don’t sell easily. We want to create by-the-pound stores that sell clothing and excess electronics and broken appliances. These closeout stores could supply seed material for spin off circular economy businesses like the fix/repair/upcycle/resell business models we need more of. These stores could also be seed material for online sellers that strip parts out of broken things to resell to other people wanting to fix their own devices. And in this town, we definitely need a student move out program to capture all the usable materials students can’t haul or store at the end of each year. These are all ideas we want to implement ourselves as we are able, or perhaps, eventually incubate to make happen. Yes, we are dreamers and we hope there are more of you out there to take these concepts and run with them. The more organizations and social entrepreneurs out there, the better! We need everyone on board if we want to reverse the current trends. Special thank you to our sweet town, Gainesville, for supporting our organization. Most organizations like ours have outside funding and we are truly lucky to have a community who has supported our mission and helped us thrive for almost a decade. We are 99.9% self-funded via reuse sales and that only happens with a supportive community!! Thank you! Buy used!!