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ReUse Works, Bellingham, WA

12/10/2013

ReUse Works, Bellingham, WA

12/10/2013

 

ReUse Works has developed a unique strategy to provide jobs and job training for low income workers at no cost to the community.

In 2005, ReUse Works launched Appliance Depot, a training business that salvages, repairs, and sells used appliances. The business partners with 15 social service agencies and schools to provide work experience for low-income and at-risk clients. The trainees help run the business which is 100% self-sustaining.

This model has provided transitional jobs for over 300 low income workers while diverting over 30,000 appliances from the landfill. It has generated $1.6 million in revenues by converting trash into treasure. ReUse Works is now poised to replicate this model in a training business that recycles post-consumer clothing. The plan is for the business to be self-sustaining after four years. Trainees, mentored by textile artists, will sort, grade, cut, sew, weave, and sell post-consumer fabrics to artists, crafters, commercial rag users, and other niche markets identified in the business plan.