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Re-imagining reuse: The role of reuse network facilitators

Posted By Jen Newberg, Friday, November 8, 2019
Updated: Thursday, November 7, 2019

On November 15th, ReUSE Minnesota will be featured in a panel during the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's online Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF). Steve Thomas, ReUSE MN board member, was invited to participate in a panel led by students from Bard's MBA in Sustainability. These students developed a toolkit for network facilitators to enable circular economy innovation and collaboration within reuse organization networks, and are looking to discuss approaches for re-imaging donation, repair, and reuse.

Along with ReUSE Minnesota, Furniture Link and Austin Creative Reuse will be represented. This session will highlight the essential role of reuse network facilitators in the circular economy through motivating, inspiring, and encouraging other reuse organizations to innovate, create circular value, and strengthen their communities.

Mark your calendars to listen in on this event using the link included below.

When: Friday, November 15th - 10:30AM - 11:00AM CST

Where: Online - click this link to join

About the Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF): The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's DIF is an interactive online event series that aims to shift mindsets and inspire action towards a circular economy by sharing and exploring disruptive ideas and stories across a range of topics.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a non-profit organization who works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.

Tags:  ambassadors  built environment  circular ecomony  Ellen MacArthur Foundation  fair repair  fast fashion  network  repair  reuse  reuse minnesota  reusemn  thrift 

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The True Cost screening - Thursday, October 24

Posted By Jen Newberg, Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The True Cost is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Join ReUSE Minnesota board member, Steve Thomas, on the evening of Thursday, October 24 for a free screening of The True Cost, a documentary exposing the global cost of fast fashion.

Thursday, October 24 7-9 PM

St. Thomas More School auditorium
1065 Summit Ave.St. Paul, MN 55105
parking and entrance at the back (north side) of the school

Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

Learn more about The True Cost at


Download File (PDF)

Tags:  fast fashion  reuse  reuse minnesota  reusemn  thrift 

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Call for Board of Director Nominations

Posted By Jen Newberg, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Interested in serving on the ReUSE Minnesota Board of Directors?


If you are interested in being a part of the ReUSE MN Board of Directors, email a short bio and answers to the following questions to (Subject line: Nomination) no later than Friday, November 8, 2019.

1.       Why do you want to serve on the ReUSE MN Board of Directors?

2.       What skills will you bring to the ReUSE MN Board of Directors (volunteer coordination, recruitment, budgeting, grant writing, public speaking, strategic planning, etc.)?

3.       What is your relevant experience with reuse and sustainability (prior board service, business ownership, working with non-profits, etc.)?

The Board of Directors is charged with control of management of the affairs, business, and properties of ReUSE Minnesota. The Board of Directors has fiduciary and strategic responsibility for the organization. All those serving on the Board of Directors must be dues-paying Members in good standing. Board Members serve a 2-year term.

ReUSE Minnesota Board of Directors...

  • Demonstrate commitment to and enthusiasm for reuse, repair and rental in daily life
  • Desire to connect more reuse businesses and build a stronger network
  • Meet 2 hours per month at Board Meetings completing necessary preparation or follow up outside of meeting times
  • Give 5-10 hours per month to ReUSE MN which may include but is not limited to: staffing event booths, giving promotional talks, visiting reuse-focused businesses, helping with internal administration work
  • Serve on 1-2 committees, in addition to the Board of Directors
  • Attend and help facilitate quarterly Member Meetings
  • Lead initiatives and complete associated assigned tasks; follow through on commitments
  • Participate collaboratively in frank discussions about the mission, vision, initiatives, and work of ReUSE MN

The Board of Directors is made up of 4 Officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary as well as Board Members at Large.

President: The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of ReUSE MN and shall preside as Chairman at all meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Members. The President shall see that the rules of order and decorum are properly enforced in all deliberations of ReUSE MN and shall sign the approved minutes of each meeting. The President shall have general superintendence and direction of all of the other Officers of ReUSE MN and shall see that their duties are properly performed.

Vice President: The Vice President shall preside as Chairman at all meetings of the Board of Directors in the absence of the President. The Vice President shall perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may direct.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall supervise all dues collections and the accounts of ReUSE MN; shall ensure that full and accurate accounting records are maintained at all times; and shall present such reports, including an annual report of ReUSE MN’s financial condition, as the Board of Directors may direct. The Treasurer shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors or the President.

Secretary: The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Members; shall attend all sessions of the Board of Directors; shall report unfinished business requiring action from prior meetings; shall supervise correspondence of ReUSE MN; and shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the Board of Directors.

Management HQ, ReUSE MN’s Association Management Company, works closely with and supports all Board of Directors Officers and Members at Large in their work and the overarching initiatives of ReUSE MN.

Directors are expected to be actively involved in 1-2 committees: Finance & Fundraising, Membership, or Education & Communication.

Finance & Fundraising Committee: Oversees the budget and all financial matters of ReUSE MN.

Membership Committee: Develops member retention and recruitment strategies and plans quarterly Member Meetings, the Annual Meeting, and occasional events to highlight ReUSE MN businesses.

Education & Communication Committee: Organizes ReUSE MN presence at workshops, fairs, and other events. Seeks opportunities for ReUSE MN to reach businesses and potential members and guides annual communications plan.


If you have any questions about ReUSE Minnesota, or the Board of Directors election process, please email or call (612) 352-9119.

Tags:  board 

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Join ReUSE Minnesota at our first regional conference

Posted By Jen Newberg, Monday, September 9, 2019

Join ReUSE Minnesota at our first regional conference


ReUSE Minnesota has been busy building a reuse movement statewide, and we’re excited to launch our first ever regional conference! The day will be an energizing gathering for our incredible community to connect and strengthen Minnesota’s reuse, rental, and repair sectors. Here’s everything you need to know about the conference on Monday, November 4th, 2019.

Where will it be?

The conference will at the Humphrey School Conference Center at the University of Minnesota

What will the day look like?

You can check out the schedule-at-a-glance here. Like a typical conference, you’ll hear an inspiring keynote address, break into your first session, eat lunch and view the tabling exhibits, attend the next two sessions, and finally, talk with your old and new friends over drinks and snacks at the networking happy hour. We will announce our speakers soon, and update our online schedule and this post. 

Who should attend?

The conference is open to everyone interested in reuse. Here are a few example attendees::

  • Reuse business owners. This may include more businesses than you think! People who work in repurposing, upcycling, remanufacturing, deconstruction, second-hand stores, tool and toy rentals, electronics repair, antiques, and much more.

  • People interested in starting a reuse business. One of the presentations will focus on how to start a reuse business, and another will focus on effective marketing and retail strategies - come learn some best practices and next steps!

  • Policymakers and local government leaders. We need reuse legislation to reinforce these practices, and establish them as the norm for businesses and consumers across the state. HF 1138 passed out of two Minnesota House committees this session, and came very close to getting the first floor vote on Right to Repair legislation nationwide. At the conference we’ll discuss existing and anticipated policies,  and how to most effectively integrate reuse into municipal programs.

  • Reuse activists and advocates. More sessions will explore how to measure the impacts of reuse, including its social, economic, and environmental effects..

Okay, I’m there. How do I register?

In Minnesota alone, there are over 7,000 reuse, repair, and rental businesses and organizations. You’re invited to support the growth of these industries and connect with the people making reuse happen at our 2019 conference! Register here.

Take advantage of early bird rates through September 30!

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New ReUSE Minnesota Executive Director Announcement

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 29, 2019
I am pleased to announce that Management HQ (MHQ), ReUSE Minnesota’s association management partner, has hired a permanent executive director to serve ReUSE Minnesota (ReUSE).  Jen Newberg began her work as the ReUSE Executive Director on Monday, August 12, 2019.

After a deliberate and thorough search process, we are pleased to announce the selection of Jen to lead ReUSE.  She shares our vision of a strong Minnesota reuse economy, and she has extensive experience in leadership and development positions with social service nonprofits.

Prior to her selection as the ReUSE Executive Director, Jen served as the Director of Development for Episcopal Homes Foundation of Minnesota; Director of Individual and Planned Giving for YWCA Minneapolis; and Director of Philanthropy Services at Allina Health.

Jen says of the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of ReUSE “I’m authentically interested in supporting the strategic vision and leading the operations of ReUSE Minnesota. So far, my career has focused on creating positive change in the world through philanthropy and ReUSE Minnesota builds on that by engaging Minnesotans in creating change through more sustainable living.”

In her fundraising roles she has worked closely with board members and committee volunteers in developing relationships, visioning goals, project and budget planning, supporting volunteers in decision-making and holding teams accountable to project milestones.

With a solid leadership team selected, I am confident that ReUSE will expand our mission to drive forward reuse in our communities.

Jenny Kedward, Board of Directors President
ReUSE Minnesota

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Member Spotlight - City of St. Louis Park

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 28, 2019
This month's featured member is the City of St. Louis Park. In April 2019 the City of St. Louis Park celebrated the 35th anniversary of its curbside recycling program. Over the years, the city has worked hard to help residents and businesses recycle better. However, the city now has a comprehensive plan and a climate action plan that seek significant reductions in waste. And while recycling and composting have environmental benefits, preventing and reducing waste offers the most significant impact. How, as a municipality, can we encourage residents to consider reuse and repair to reduce waste?
In October 2017, the city hosted its first clothing swap. 80 people attended and brought 920 pounds of clothing. The swap has been held annually since, with attendance reaching 190 people from 20 cities this July (and 2,315 pounds of clothing and accessories!). At the events, approximately 60% of the clothing is swapped and taken home by attendees. The rest is donated to local nonprofits, with a small amount being set aside for textile recycling. The St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) comes at the end of each event to select items for their clothing and coat closets. The remaining items have gone to ARC Value Village, PRISM, and Old School by Steeple People.

Check out a video of a recent swap here!

The city hosted gardener’s swaps in spring 2018 and 2019, aimed at encouraging the reuse of yard and garden tools, while also providing space for swapping plants. The event provided a perfect space to match up people getting out of gardening with new gardeners and homeowners. The swap is now an annual event – mark your calendar for May 12, 2020!

Do you want to be a featured Member Highlight in upcoming newsletters? Join ReUSE MN as an organizational member and you could be chosen!

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Refurbished, Salvaged, & Reused Furniture at the State Fair

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 23, 2019

If you’ve been by the Eco Experience, you may have noticed some fantastic furniture pieces in our Repair & Reuse Room. For this year’s fair, ReUSE Minnesota partnered with four talented individuals to create our reused living room. Check them out, and explore their offerings before you head to a place selling new, less durable, and less sustainable options! As you can see by the measures below, a reused option can have a big impact!

  • Salvaged Wood & Marble Slab Dining Room Table
    Andy Weld , Rovan Handcrafted Furniture

    Buying refurbished instead of new:
    • diverts 350lbs of material from going to landfill
    • eliminates 130 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

If every household in Minnesota bought a table like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 27.5 million gallons of gasoline.**


  • Restyled Antique Settee with Sustainable Fiber Stuffing and Reclaimed Textiles
    Helen Miller , Miller Upholstering

    Buying refurbished instead of new:
    • diverts 125lbs of material from going to landfill
    • eliminates 27 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

If every household in Minnesota bought a piece of furniture like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 5.5 million gallons of gasoline.**


  • Overdyed Reused Rug
    Carter Averbeck , Omforme Design

    Buying refurbished instead of new:
    • diverts 89lbs of material from going to landfill
    • eliminates 69 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

If every household in Minnesota bought a rug like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 14.5 million gallons of gasoline.**


  • Reused Leather Belt Chair
    Carter Averbeck, Omforme Design

    Buying refurbished instead of new:
    • diverts 66lbs of material from going to landfill
    • eliminates 33 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

If every household in Minnesota bought a chair like this instead of a newly manufactured one, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 7 million gallons of gasoline.**


  • Reconstructed Glass Top End Table
    Kim Yeager, Lark Nest Design

    Buying refurbished instead of new:
    • diverts 30lbs of material from going to landfill
    • eliminates 15 kg* of greenhouse gas emissions that would be generated making a new product

If every household in Minnesota bought a table like this instead of a newly manufactured table, we would avoid generating greenhouse gases equal to burning over 3 million gallons of gasoline.**


*Greenhouse gas emissions calculated with Sustainable Minds© Life Cycle Assessment Tool

** Equivalencies calculated with US EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Andy Weld  Carter Averbeck  Helen Miller  Kim Yeager  Lark Nest Design  Miller Upholstering  Omforme Design  refurbished  repair & reuse room  reupholstered  reused  Rovan Handcrafted Furniture  salvaged  state fair 


Waste not want not: We need innovative solutions. Not more landfills.

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 1, 2019
A July 11th article in the Star Tribune reported on the proposed 362-foot landfill expansion in Burnsville by Waste Management; a mountain of waste looming more than 30 stories over the Minnesota River. Along with creating an ugly eyesore along an essential waterway, this expansion will pollute our land, water, and air for decades, even centuries, to come. (“Stop Trashing the Climate” is one of several studies documenting the link between climate change and the unsustainable practice of waste generation).

Landfills are archaic, and we know they are harmful to our communities in ways beyond just a stinky eyesore. They are a source of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. Landfills also have a detrimental impact on soil, vegetation, and wildlife. And they are a major source of groundwater pollution in the form of “leachate,” runoff from rain and waste contamination. 

We can and must do better. We can and must continue to support innovative and proven alternatives to landfills such as the reuse and repair of goods and materials. 

At ReUSE Minnesota, we are expanding Minnesota’s reuse sector and studying the dramatic benefits of reducing waste through reuse. Research shows that one of the primary ways cities and counties are reducing landfill waste is through the expansion of the reuse sector. Currently, according to the MPCA, Minnesota’s reuse sector directly employs 46,000 employees and generates at least $4 billion in gross sales annually. And this sector continues to grow, showing there is a real desire to grow a sustainable economy and reduce waste across the State. 

We can take personal steps to reduce waste through reuse and we must hold our policymakers accountable for supporting sustainable, healthy communities. Local, county, and State agencies must heed the warning of the environmental hazards associated with increased waste; instead, these leaders must support reuse initiatives, which will reduce pollutants (including greenhouse gasses), build a healthier future, and a stronger economy.  

For instance, the legislature must pass the Fair Repair Bill, which would require manufacturers to provide repair information and replacement parts for consumer goods like refrigerators, small appliances, computers, cell phones, and more, to reduce waste. 

Metro area cities should also look to other forward-thinking cities across the country, which are adopting new policies and practices to reduce waste in landfills. To date, more than 160 municipalities across the country have adopted policies to reduce construction and demolition (C&D) waste, which now makes up the largest amount of waste in landfills. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, more than 80 percent of the 1.6 million tons of construction and demolition waste generated Statewide in 2013 was landfilled. Demolishing buildings and burying the waste is simply not a healthy or sustainable practice.

Instead of expanding the “dump”, we urge local officials to adopt a much more enlightened policy. Reduce waste on the front end. For example, a policy of reusing at least 5% of a building and recycling an additional 70% of its materials, typically results in net zero emissions. This policy also reduces substantially the amount of toxic material to buried in the ground.

One of ReUSE Minnesota’s members, Better Futures Minnesota, is a local pioneer in the effort to divert building materials from the waste stream. According to a Ecotone Analytics Environmental Impact Analysis, the demolition of 2000 sq ft house emits, on average, 250 metric tons of CO2 which is equal to driving 5 cars for a year. As an alternative, Better Futures diverts 85% of this typical house from the landfill, which results in net zero emissions.

Minnesota’s estimated 46,000 workers in the reuse and repair sectors are practicing innovative solutions and practical alternatives to the building a 30-story landfill. Reuse helps us protect Mother Earth and build healthier communities. We call for local, county, and State officials to make a new choice: support solutions to reduce waste and help grow a reuse economy.

Steve Thomas, Board Member, ReUSE Minnesota

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UPDATED DEADLINE: RFP - Reporting Measurement and Oversight

Posted By Dara Rudick, Friday, July 26, 2019

Please note: We have updated our proposal due date to August 8, 2019.  It was originally August 1, 2019.

ReUSE Minnesota is seeking an accomplished individual or firm to provide and execute a methodology and tools for collecting data to measure the environmental, economic and social impacts of reuse, rental, and repair activities statewide. The tool(s) will be used to document the benefits of the products and services provided by ReUSE Minnesota’s member businesses and organizations statewide.  Funding for this project is from the State of Minnesota’s Environmental Trust Fund. 

View the Attached RFP for more information.

View Vendor Q&A webinar recording here.

Also attached - Q&A Addendum, not included in webinar recording.

Please note: We have updated our proposal due date to August 8, 2019.  It was originally August 1, 2019.

Download File (PDF)

 Attached Files:

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The Power and Impact of Building Material Reuse (REGISTRATION CLOSED)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Join us for ReUSE Minnesota's May Webinar
Thursday, May 16, 2019
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

The Power and Impact of Building Material Reuse

This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of reusing and repurposing used building materials. In Minnesota, less than 30% of used building materials are reused or recycled, the rest are buried in landfills. The presenters will describe ways to reverse this inefficient, harmful practice and create economic opportunities statewide.

The presenters operate businesses that reclaim used materials and outlets for selling the reclaimed goods. Please join us to learn more about these social enterprises and discuss ways we can expand these businesses within a growing circular economy!


  • Steve Thomas, ReUSE Minnesota
  • Thomas Adams, Better Futures
  • John McCarthy, North Shore Architectural Antiques

Free to attend!

This is Part I of a two-part series. The second webinar, 'Policies to Promote Building Material Stewardship,' will be on Thursday, June 13.  Learn more and register online.

Contact us at or (612) 352-9119.

Tags:  building material reuse  built environment  webinar 

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