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Remakery – start of a global move to start repairing and reusing

Posted: 27th July 2018

The Edinburgh Remakery is a perfect example of the circular economy in action – and all the benefits that virtuous cycle can bring…

This social enterprise has the aim of creating a genuine culture of repair and reuse in Edinburgh – and in the process they will create jobs, reduce landfill and help cut the city’s carbon footprint.

Add in the added benefits of using their process to provide valuable training in repair and upcycling, and provision of free resources for some of the Capital’s most vulnerable citizens, and you have a pretty perfect example of a circular economy in action.

Rob Gallagher, Chief Executive of The Edinburgh Remakery, said: “Since we were founded in 2011 we’ve grown, and now employ nine people and around 10 freelance tutors. We also work regularly with around 30 volunteers. We hope those numbers will grow.

“Essentially our ethos is to encourage people to repair and reuse furniture, textiles and IT equipment. This helps divert significant tonnage from landfill, and our IT repairs help reduce our carbon footprint.

“We are also in the process of creating new programmes, which will see us work with homeless people getting accommodation, involving them in the repair of furniture which they will then own and which can be used to furnish their new homes.  That not only provides them with the furniture, but also provides them with valuable repair skills.

“We are also creating a project which will ensure that we can have a depository of free furniture available to people living in adverse circumstances, including homeless people as they find

accommodation, to help with that often difficult transition.”

Based in Leith Walk, The Edinburgh Remakery model has now been used to help establish remakerys around the world, with the first one in Brooklyn in New York.

Rob added: “As well as offering training workshops, we also repair and upcycle furniture and IT equipment and sell these through our shop, which goes a long way towards funding our activities. We hope that people ‘pay it forward’. In other words, they might buy a repaired and recycled laptop from us knowing that the money they spend not only gets them a good value, useable product, it also helps us provides the means for others to get on as well as helping our environment.”

There are currently significant funding opportunities and support for SMEs that are interested in investigating circular economy opportunities. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce are managing Circular Edinburgh which is funded by Zero Waste Scotland who supports work that will deliver circular economy growth. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

For further information please visit https://www.edinburghchamber.co.uk/circular-economy or

contact Mayan Grace or Aileen Boyle on 0131 221 2999 (option 5) or email

circulareconomy@edinburghchamber.co.uk

 

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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