Photo from Alex Eaves
Conant Metal & Light CEO Ste ven Conant, featured in the documentar y film Reuse!, shows off some of the light fixtur es, wall decor, and whimsical items offered in his store, which transforms used lighting and furniture into creative new items.
Stay Vocal(m) founder and CEO Alex Eaves has been a fan of reuse since he was a kid—when his father would rescue and fix broken Matchbox cars from yard sales and then make him obstacle courses from paper towel tubes and shoeboxes. As he grew older, he turned his interest into a passion: Stay Vocal rescues used or irregular T-shirts and adds screenprints and patches to remake them into something new.
Now, Eaves is spreading the word about others who are embracing reuse rather than recycling through his new documentary film, Reuse!, which was funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign. Green America’s own Alisa Gravitz and Todd Larsen make an appearance in the film.
“I thought about how impacted by documentaries I have been, and I [realized] there’s
nothing out there for the reuse movement,” says Eaves. “Whenever anyone asks, ‘What can I do for the planet?’ people automatically think recycling. That’s not the best or easiest resort.”
He points out an example from the film that reusing a glass bottle uses 90 percent less energy than recycling it. Reuse! tells many stories of the innovative ways people across the country are embracing reuse. For instance, Montana’s Bayern Brewing buys its glass bottles back from customers, sanitizes them, and bottles its beer in them again and again. Conant Metal & Light in Burlington, VT, hires art students and engineers to remake old light fixtures and furniture into beautiful new items.
“A customer will walk in and be thinking they want a light for over the bathroom, and
they’ve been to Home Depot and Lowe’s and all those places. Then they come in here and are just amazed at the prospect of something that can have character and feel good, and there can be a story behind it,” says Steven Conant, CEO of Conant Metal & Light, in the film.
After the film’s release on Aug. 16th, Eaves will be embarking on a fall promotional tour
across the US.
“Not all reuse is perfect, but [the film is about] getting that concept out there and
having it become more mainstream and more thought about,” he says.
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