Edinburgh launches ‘Remakery’ to ignite re-use and repair revolution

An Edinburgh social enterprise has set up a unique re-use and repair superstore to encourage second-hand shopping and enable more people to learn key repair skills in the Scottish capital, as a way of driving a circular economy.

Edinburgh Remakery customers will have the opportunity to buy refurbished computers, rent affordable workspace and tools, and learn how to fix their own items such as mobile phones, textiles and furniture when the store officially opens on Saturday (21 May).

The project has received financial backing from Zero Waste Scotland’s funded hub programme as part of the organisation’s drive to transform the scale and economic impact of re-use shopping in Scotland.

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “I’m excited about the launch of The Edinburgh Remakery which is at the forefront of a re-use and repair revolution in the city and Zero Waste Scotland is pleased to be able to support it. It will give local people a great new place to learn some vital skills or pick up a second-hand gem. 

“The hubs programme is all about increasing the scale and the profile of re-use for shoppers, and of repair skills generally when items break or need an update. We can keep the value of these items in local economies, creating local jobs and training opportunities, and prevent usable items from needlessly ending up in landfill.

“Edinburgh, and Scotland more widely, is an exciting place to be at the moment in terms of the momentum building around re-use retail and spreading repair skills – part of the Scottish Government’s plan to build a more resilient, circular economy.”

New audience

Workshop spaces and a tour of the premises will be available to visitors during the grand opening of the Remakery, located at 125 Leith Walk.

The store’s director has said that the Edinburgh Remakery will allow enable the company to reach a whole new audience of people. Sophie Unwin said: “We’re very excited about coming to Leith and hope there will be something for everyone in the goods and services we offer – from quality refurbished computers and furniture, workshops in lots of repair techniques, and workstation rental.

“We’re all very excited about the increased impact we can have now thanks to Scottish Government support.  This year alone, we’re looking to more than double the waste we divert to landfill from 90 to 240 tonnes and create an additional four jobs.”

Promoting re-use and repair hubs is one of a number of measures aimed at providing a boost to Scotland’s economy and environment, as set out in the Scottish Government’s recent Circular Economy strategy.

The Government has already provided £1.8m funding to develop the Scottish Institute of Remanufacture, which aims to realise the value of materials like gold and electrical components harvested from recycled televisions, mobile phones and computers. Zero Waste Scotland is also calling on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) explore and pioneer ways to develop a circular economy through a £18m fund

Ready-salted relics

In related news this week, a social enterprise run by behaviour change experts Hubbub will see the launch of first litter shop in the UK, as part of a new rural anti-litter campaign in The Forest of Dean. The litter shop will feature unusual rubbish and litter found in and around the forest, including a 33-year-old crisp packet and 40-year-old drinks bottles with cork stoppers.

Hubbub is working in partnership with Lucozade Ribena Suntory in a collaborative effort aimed at bringing together businesses, the Forest of Dean District Council, community groups, local littering charities as well as local residents.

Hubbub chief executive Trewin Restorick said: “Hubbub is taking a fresh approach to fight the blight of littering in the beautiful Forest of Dean.  Over the next six months we will be testing new ways to persuade people not to drop litter.  Launching the litter shop will raise local awareness and is the launch of a range of community based campaigns that will create a cleaner forest.”

George Ogleby

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