create

Creative reuse has long inspired artists to incorporate reclaimed materials into their work, and to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Collage, found object work, adaptive reuse in many design disciplines...all are examples of innovative ways to turn valuable but often wasted resources into something new.

Philadelphia has a vibrant and diverse community of creative reuse artists who use materials with a past to help shape the future! We provide them with unique, affordable, and sustainable materials, and a place to exchange and develop new ideas. Our work enables:

  • painters to create on salvaged theatre muslin
  • sculptors to work with set production discards
  • stage plays to be built from old film sets
  • mixed media artists to use salvage and surplus
  • fashion/costumes to be designed from what was left on the cutting room floor.
  • one-of-a-kind crafts and decor made with upcycled materials.

Visit our reCreate Featured Artist page to get inspired by other local artists
Check out our workshop page to find out more about how you can create at the store
Read about our projects and collaborations with local institutions

Are you an artist who works with reclaimed materials?
Looking for a way to make your theatre or film set greener?
Want to make your handmade crafts or products more sustainable?
Would you like to teach your students how to create without creating waste?
Contact us to get involved!

  • Creative reuse artists see beauty and potential everywhere! These one-of-a-kind blank cards are made by repurposing the paper theatre scenics use under scenery and backdrops!
  • University of the Arts students use our salvaged theatre and film materials like lauan, canvas, and paint to learn scenic painting techniques
  • reCreate Featured artist Angela McQuillan's work featuring reclaimed fabric materials from The Resource Exchange.
  • Leslie Curd, a local artist and scenic painter for The Walnut Street Theatre, made these fantastic repurposed canvas bags for us out of salvaged theatrical backdrop materials.
  • New Hope Academy gives props, set pieces, and lumber from previous theatrical productions a second life on stage!
  • SCRAPPIES! reCreate Featured Artist Kata Kolb makes adorable and weird stuffed friends called Scrappies from our fabric remnants and pieces.
  • Creative reuse

    Make something out of it!
  • Have something to say? We have many different kinds of signage materials, like sintra, foam core, poster board, matte board, plexi, and different types of paper - all salvaged!
  • reCreate Featured artist Melissa Maddonni Haims is a fiber artist that uses recycled and reclaimed materials from The Resource Exchange in her works
  • The Miss Rockaway Armada incorporated a variety of materials from The Resource Exchange in flotillas constructed for their “Let Me Tell You About Dream I Had” exhibition that focused on the use of sustainable resources and recycled materials.