The Environmental Artist’s First Stop


If you hop on the 6 AC Transit Bus, just past the Temescal branch of the Oakland Library, you will find the wondrous world that is the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. At first glance, this store seems to be a hurricane of people, colored pieces of paper, and random knick knacks, but if you take your time to browse, a whole new world opens up.

According to the the East Bay Depot’s website, its mission is “to divert waste materials from landfills by collecting and redistributing discarded goods as low-cost supplies for art.” A mission very similar to UC Berkeley’s own ReUSE (the on-campus thrift shop). At both of these stores, you can find a lot of bits and ends for endless creative possibilities at very low prices.  

The Depot is strewn with empty tin cans, bags of wine corks, and mountains of buttons. There are unlabeled boxes all throughout the store that are filled with weird treasures, like a collection of old slides of the Campanile. 

The depot is every DIY-er’s dream, and every item is a deal. You can make a functional sewing kit complete with needles, string, zippers, buttons, and ribbon all for less than $5 in total. Yarn, also, is less than $2 per yard. The Depot also offers even lower prices for educators who are looking to find supplies for their next class projects. 

At the end of the day, the Depot aims to spread an understanding of reusing materials. It also takes donations, if you’re ready for your art supplies to go to a new, good home.

Don’t let the term “reuse” scare you from this place as your #1 stop for art supplies. Most of the items are completely ready to be repurposed. If you take your time, you will soon find that most jars of paint are almost full, the spools of thread barely used, and the walls of National Geographics and old vinyls in very good shape.

The next time you are in the creative mood, be sure to stop by the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse before you hit up some of Berkeley’s other art stores.

The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse is located at 4695 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland CA and is open 7 days a week from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. More information about the Depot can be found here:



Sarah Xu

Sarah Xu is a first year Environmental Economics and Policy major who is involved with ReUSE, UC Berkeley's on campus thrift shop, Berkeley Model United Nations, and the Global Environmental Theme House (GETH). In her free time, Sarah enjoys overcaffeinating and getting lost on public transportation.

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2 Responses

  1. It was an interesting subject. Thanks for sharing the unique article

  2. BevRice says:

    Delightful.UC has a thrift store.?! Where and when did it start?I am an alumni.

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