Maybe you’re a preschool teacher who needs 75 toilet paper rolls for a class project. Maybe your pants ripped and you need a new button, zipper, or fabric for patching. Maybe you’re a crafter or artist and need some art supplies. Maybe you just got an apartment and need some affordable home dÃ©cor. Or maybe you’re just one of those nutball hoarders whose piles of crap just aren’t tall enough. In any case, The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, located in the amazing Temescal District, is the perfect place to get your raw materials.
Since 1979, The Depot’s non-profit store has been keeping waste out of the landfills by selling donated materials for reuse at low prices to teachers, artists, educators, and crafters out of their 4,500 sq. ft. warehouse. They’ve got books, paper, stamps, buttons, cardboard, crayons, furniture, fabric, jars, corks, jewelry, egg cartons, vintage linens, wallpaper, plastic scraps, picture frames, foam core, glitter, yarn, bottle caps, everything you can think of, and more! And, miracles of miracles, it’s organized. Extra plus? Donations are tax-deductible (for those of you broke-asses who actually pay taxes).
Cutbacks in state-funded educational programs are forcing teachers to buy their own supplies for students and classrooms. The Teacher Resource Zone, funded by education grants, is a really rad addition to the Depot store. Not only do they have books on education, teacher’s edition books, language study books, maps and educational posters, chalkboards, and general school supplies, but they also provide lesson plans, sample creative projects, literature guides, a teachers’ email list for notification about new inventory, and information about upcoming workshops for educators.
The amazing thing about Creative Reuse is that you didn’t even know you needed this stuff â€˜til you saw it. But then, once you realize you can’t live without that jar of buttons, it’s ok to buy it because it’s cheap. And I’ve found that if you go right before closing or flirt a little, prices seem to drop a bit.
4695 Telegraph Ave. @ 49th
Oakland, CA 94609
Store hours: â€¨11am-6pm daily
Donations: 11am-5pm daily
P.S. Keep your eye out for more upcoming features on shops, restaurants, events, and places to hang out in the Temescal area.