Our Vision: A world where we recycle, reuse and rethink in a creative imaginative way
The Early Childhood Resource Centre Incorporated trading as Creative Junk is a not-for-profit, registered charity that specialises in safe recyclable items from a wide variety of sources, especially industry, where we find some of the most interesting materials. Many of the things we stock would otherwise end up in landfill. We also stock new art supplies at greatly reduced prices and are more than happy to try and source what you need.
We show and encourage all areas of the community, from early childhood centres right through schools and on to private homes and artists. We are passionate about creativity and recycling and this has proven to be a very good partnership.
What we do and how we do it
Waste diversion – we collect ‘off-cuts’, waste and ‘surplus-to-requirements’ materials from Christchurch manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. These materials would otherwise be sent to landfill, as would the majority of the donations that are also made to us by private individuals. More than 100 businesses donate goods to Creative Junk, and we have long-standing relationships with many of these businesses. We currently have a minimum of 30 drop off per week from people dropping goods at our premises.
Retail shop – the materials are stored in our warehouse/retail shop at Disraeli Street, Christchurch. Our customers come here to shop, share ideas and resources. We provide a courier service (called Spare Parts) to customers throughout New Zealand to be developed in the future.
As well as recycled materials, we buy in some art and craft supplies from wholesalers and offer them at competitive prices to our customers.
Workshops – we run workshops for children and adults in order to increase their skills and knowledge in the use of junk materials to produce items that are practical and usable. Workshops for teachers are available, linking our resources to the technology, maths, science and art curricula, and the ECE curriculum Te Whāriki. Workshops are held at our premises and off-site at schools, early childhood centres and community venues.
Community engagement – we are regularly involved in a number of community events, including Children’s Day, Kidsfest, Santa Parades (Christchurch and New Brighton), FESTA, and the River of Flowers.
We work on a wide range of other community group events — for early childhood services, schools, OSCAR programmes, church groups and Christchurch City Council — to support the culture of recycle, reuse, rethink.
In the early 1980s a group of similar-minded people got together to plug a gap in the market — there was a lack of inexpensive creative resources for use in the early childhood environment. From that meeting over 38 years ago, Creative Junk was born. Although one of our main focuses is still early childhood, we have grown considerably and now cater for the whole community with what we believe is the only centre of its kind in New Zealand.
We are run by a voluntary Management Committee. We employ two staff members, a coordinator and an administrator who are helped by an amazing group of volunteers. All of us are committed to improving Creative Junk and seeing it grow further to provide more and more interesting activities and services.
Our aim is to provide an extensive and affordable range of materials. We collect these from industries, retail outlets and households. We promote environmentally sustainable practices while promoting creative and imaginative happenings in the community, for children, families and related community services.
We acknowledge and are very grateful to the following grant providers.