Leith, North Edinburgh, 19 May 2016
Innovative new business the Edinburgh Remakery on 125 Leith Walk opens to the public this weekend offering affordable refurbished computers and furniture and repair workshops in computer, textile, and furniture techniques, as well as workstation hire.
An open day on 21 May will offer free sessions in computer repair, upholstery, pyrography and peg loom weaving plus food from the Real Junk Food Project Edinburgh and a prize draw with gifts from local businesses including Emma Hall hairdressing, florist Garlands, Upcycled World, Leith Food Assembly, Edinburgh Tool Libary and cosmetic company LUSH, which has supported Remade in Edinburgh for years.
Remade in Edinburgh Founder and Director Sophie Unwin says: “Repair goes beyond recycling has a huge potential to create jobs[i], prevent waste and save resources[ii], and build community. Last year we diverted almost 100 tonnes of waste to landfill and created 4 jobs, this year we expect these figures to double.
We want to play a part in a radical shift to a truly green economy that isn’t dependent on fossil fuel extraction – encouraging people to think about where products come from and where they go to and shop in a new way. We’re excited to be working with University of Edinburgh and Wester Hailes Charity CHAI to open this new shop and reach many many more new people.
Remade in Edinburgh was Sophie’s brainchild, along with our sister project, the Remakery in Brixton, on her return to the UK after spending a year living in Nepal and creating less than a dustbin of rubbish. She is now working on a pilot to support other places replicate the concept across the UK, with a scale up award from the School for Social Entrepreneurs. Sophie says “I can’t take credit for all the hard work. In both cases, it has been the community’s support for a zero waste future which has brought the concept alive.”
In Edinburgh, Computer Repair Team Leader Sotiris Katsimbas has been working hard to get the shop ready. He runs Remade’s popular Dr Computer service – teaching customers computer repair skills to prevent them throwing away computers and buying new. The Remakery will also offer workshops in pyrography, upholstery, book-binding, leatherwork, and other repair techniques.
Sotiris says: “Transforming the shop has been a huge labour of love for the team of staff and our amazing volunteers. We want to encourage people to drop disposable products[iii] and have stayed true to our mission reusing materials in the build – from a workbench made from an fire old door to a till area made from old pallets. We can’t wait to open and show people that second hand isn’t second best, and fixing stuff doesn’t just save money – it’s fun too.”
The project is funded for one year by Zero Waste Scotland and Edinburgh Council – based on a business plan of being viable after one year’s trading. CHAI – for whom the project rescued a furniture project that was due to be closed – are partnering to provide furniture and the University of Edinburgh is providing computers. They are both learning from Remade in Edinburgh’s social enterprise model. City of Edinburgh Council is providing additional support in the form of a funded apprentice placement.
[i] Repairing computers creates over 100 times the jobs as recycling them (Demos)
[ii] Reusing textiles saves 11 times the CO2 as recycling them (Scottish Government)
[iii] 33% of all household appliances that are thrown away are still in working order (Scottish Government)