After nearly 26 years of serving the Athens community ReUse Industries, a pioneer of the zero-waste movement in Athens County, will soon be shutting its doors.
The nonprofit announced last week that they would be closing due to financial reasons.
A singular official statement, sent to the Athens News from board member Brian Vadakin, stated that the store will be closing following a final week of discounts at the ReUse Thrift Store, located at 751 W. Union St, Athens.
Thus far, there has been no official statement of closure on the ReUse Industries website, Facebook page or the Facebook pages of ReUse Industries Thrift Store or Athens Makerspace, the two businesses associated with ReUse Industries. The Athens Messenger reached out to ReUse Industries on multiple occasions and did not receive any statements.
Though ReUse has yet to come out and state that they are closing on their official pages, they have released a few vague statements on their Facebook page.
“We wish we had more information to share with the community at this time, but for now please know the following: Athens Makerspace will be still hosting all classes that people have signed up for them,” the business posted. “If you are currently signed up for a class please know that your participation will greatly help us in this difficult time.”
The statement also details hours of operation for the rest of the week. ReUse Industries Thrift Store will be open now through Saturday, Feb. 15, and all clothing will be buy one get one free, and all fabric and craft supplies will be 50 percent off.
The statement also noted that the entrance to the Thrift Shop has changed, and customers should enter through the double glass doors under a sign that reads “Athens Janitorial Supply.”
“We regret that we have not yet been able to swap signs since swapping storefronts, and apologize for any confusion or inconvenience,” the business posted.
ReUse changed locations in Fall 2019, moving from Columbus St. to the current location next to Athens Makerspace on Union St. ReUse Industries moved again in January 2020, when they moved locations within the same building on Union Street, something ReUse alluded to in a previous Facebook post.
“We moved the store again for the second time in less than a year and it’s been pretty tough on us this time,” the statement read.
ReUse Industries opened it’s doors in 1994 when a group of community members sought to create an “Ultimate Recycling Center,” according to ReUse’s website. Since then the nonprofit has worked to promote local economic development while utilizing wasted and otherwise discarded resources.
In 2014 ReUse began to develop the Makerspace, a community workshop that teaches skills in woodworking, fiber/fabric, metal and other trades. The Makerspace intends to honor all classes that have participants signed up for scheduled events, and ask that all participants who are signed up reach out to let the staff know.