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Thrift store for art supplies also tries to protect the environment – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) – Affordable art supplies, and it helps protect the environment.

Morning insider Jim Williams talks about a store that just opened its second location in the Chicago area, welcomed by artists and teachers.

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What we might see as garbage ready to go, Eleanor Ray sees as a world of creative possibilities.

The once discarded craft felt is now part of a work of art – Eleanor’s own creation – hanging in her store, called The WasteShed.

“We are a thrift store of art supplies, school supplies, creative materials of all kinds,” she said. “Clay, easels and craft paint, nicer paint, supplies for making prints.”

Art supplies – many of which are recycled and reused – sell for a fraction of what you would spend in retail stores.

“We provide the link between, you know, the materials that are right there that aren’t being used and the people who will be using them to do good things,” Eleanor said.

This Evanston store just opened this weekend. This is WasteShed’s second location. Eleanor’s store in Humboldt Park has been around for seven years.

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Artist Hahn Ray – unrelated to Eleanor – once a client, is now employed at WasteShed.

“An oasis of art supplies and creative reuse was something that was really important to me,” Hahn said.

A section of the store is free for all educators. Eleanor points out that elementary and secondary school teachers often spend money out of pocket, and it can get very expensive.

“The average teacher spends $ 500 a year out of pocket on materials. So we’re trying to help them offset that cost; and also find unusual, interesting and unique materials that they might not be able to get elsewhere, ”Eleanor said.

It is a marriage of art and conservation.

“It’s extremely rewarding. The community that we have built at Humboldt Park has been absolutely wonderful, ”said Eleanor. “And we are really looking forward to establishing a community like Evanston.”

For a full list of supplies you can donate, visit their website.

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If you are interested in donating, you can email with the location you want to donate to, a list of items you want to donate, and some photos (if possible) for give WaterShed a better idea of ​​what they will need the space for.

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