Austin reuse expo rocks the runway, gets its craft-on, screens new reuse film and more.

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The ReuseConex Reuse Expo”, October 23-24, 2014 will be offering exciting opportunities for Austinites, and visitors alike, to connect with the international reuse community. ReuseConex, the third international reuse conference and expo, is taking place on October 23-25, 2014 in Austin, Texas, at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown. Expo attendees will visit with a range of reuse-based exhibitors and participate in special events such as an upcycle crafting challenge, a repurposed fashion show, the premiere of a new reuse documentary; and a self-guided tour of Austin’s reuse community.

“The conference is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect and share with the thought leaders and experts in the global reuse community; but it’s our special events that allow us to celebrate the creativity and innovation of reuse. We’re thrilled to highlight both the serious and the seriously fun sides of reuse in Austin.” says MaryEllen Etienne, founder and executive director of Reuse Alliance.

The expo will feature 30+ innovating exhibitors including deconstruction experts, online materials exchange platforms, a zero waste events specialists and reclaimed-material artists. The special events at the expo will include the “Ultimate Upcycle Challenge” (10/23/14, 5:30-6:30pm) which is a quick-fire competition where artists, makers, and DIYers are challenged to creatively reuse materials. Heather Gregory, director of SCRAP Denton and special event producer, says “It’s like ‘Iron Chef’ for crafters. Four teams are given a creative challenge and art materials that have been picked for them and then compete head-to-head in front of a lively audience to see which team reigns supreme.” The four teams battling it out will represent the Austin Creative Reuse, Creative Reuse Association, SCRAP USA and Treasure City Thrift. The expo also features a “ReFashion Show” (10/24/14, 5:30-6:30pm) that highlights eco-friendly fashion. Cory Skuldt, co-director of Treasure City Thrift and special event producer, says, “You’ll see unique upcycled couture from local and national designers, as well as some fabulous looks curated by Austin’s vintage shops.” Participating designers include Shana McCracken, designer and chief strategist at Gigantic Idea Studio; and Tina Sparkles, designer and author of “fLittle Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More”. Visitors should plan on attending the film screening of the new, uplifting documentary called “REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle The Planet” (10/24/14, 7-9pm) and staying for an engaging Q&A session with the filmmaker, Alex Eaves of Stay Vocal, who will be joined by others who appear in the film. Eaves says, “This film doesn’t just show how reusing is beneficial for people, planet and wallet. It shows how reuse is easy, fun and definitely everywhere!”

Participate one of the Training Workshops (10/25/14, 10am-12pm) where topics include creating a reuse business plan, starting a repair clinic and zero waste planning; and take the Self-Guided Reuse Tour (10/25/14, 10 am-5pm) featuring local reuse organizations many of whom will offer special discounts and/or tours. “ReuseConex offers a great opportunity for Austinites to learn about the innovative reuse activities happening in our community,” said Natalie Betts, the City of Austin’s Recycling Economic Development Liaison and a member of the ReuseConex host committee. “Austin residents, businesses, nonprofits and artists who reuse materials, provide jobs and investments which help people and organizations in our community save money and get us closer to our Zero Waste goal.” Find out more about ReuseConex at reuseconex.org/learn-more.

About ReuseConex

ReuseConex is a biennial conference and expo that is hosted by Reuse Alliance, a national nonprofit working to increase awareness of reuse by educating the public about the social, environmental and economic benefits of reuse. ReuseConex serves as a platform for sharing innovative reuse initiatives, transformative ideas, replicable/scalable programs, research and policy. Speakers and attendees include reuse operation managers, environmental educators, economic development leaders, environmental activists and concerned citizens, eco-entrepreneurs, green builders, creative reuse practitioners, sustainability consultants, venture capitalists; as well as recycling coordinators for corporations, government agencies and universities. There will be over 60 speakers at ReuseConex 2014 including representatives from BlueAvocado, Creative Reuse Association, Goodwill Industries, iFixit.com, IndieGogo, iWasteNot Systems, London Reuse Network, Open Arms, PlanetReuse, The Reuse People, TradeLoop, University of Benin-Nigeria, and Zero Waste International Alliance.

About ReuseConex Special Events

Where: Holiday Inn Austin Midtown, 6000 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, Texas 78752 (USA). All ReuseConex events, except the Self-Guided Reuse Tour, will take place at the hotel. Maps for the Self-Guided Reuse Tour will be available at the expo and online. When: October 23 – 25, 2014. Details: The Reuse Expo is open when the conference is out of session. In the evenings of October 23rd and 24th, there will be a reception from 5:00-7:00 pm featuring free appetizers and a cash bar. The expo is open to the general public and conference attendees (it’s free for conference attendees and there is a suggested donation of $5 for the public at the door). Proceeds benefit Reuse Alliance.