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From rags to environmental riches – meet the social enterprise in Gairloch transforming the local shorelin

Posted: 16th December 2020

Thirteen social entrepreneurs from across Scotland have secured a share of £65,000, just ahead of the Christmas period, from social enterprise start-up agency Firstport. Start It awards are part of the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund, supporting individuals who are focussed on getting new ideas off the ground.

Entrepreneur Cory Jones is one of the 13 awardees in the latest round of funding. Cory co-founded WASaBED NOWaBAG with Mandy Rush to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill. Cory, an ecologist by trade, and Mandy, an artist, were inspired to join forces to make a positive change when they noticed more and more waste washing up on the Gairloch shore.

Based in the Highlands, the duo started their venture during the lockdown as tourism took a significant dip in the area. They used this time to develop their idea of recycling retired bedlinen and creating handmade bespoke beach clean bags.

Having developed a market as well as an extensive product range, they hope to not only reduce the amount of waste in the local area, but to also offer jobs for those in the region too.

Cory Jones, Co-founder said: “We aim to reduce the amount of retired bedlinen going into landfill by bringing it into the circular economy and reusing it for environmental benefits. Retired bedlinen can be made into a range of products including our handmade Beach Clean Bags. Hotels and accommodation providers throw out hundreds of tonnes of old bed linen each year and our social enterprise aims to reduce the amount of this waste going to landfill”

Mandy Rush, Co-founder said: “ We are so pleased to gain the Start It funding for First Port as this will support us in our first year to go through the legal process to become a social enterprise. Additionally the funding will support WASaBED to rent a pop up shop space … to promote our products and spread our message…”

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Exec of Firstport said: “This latest round of awards has shown how Social Enterprise can be used right across Scotland to bring positive impact in challenging times. WASaBed NOWaBag is a highly innovative idea that has taken a unique approach to creating real environmental impact.”

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