posted by Sophie Unwin

in Edinburgh: six months in

An update from everyone's favourite repair and reuse project

Mending clothes at a Remade in Edinburgh workshop

Remade in Edinburgh received a huge boost when we received our crowd funding from 10:10 back in October. Hard to believe it’s March already – lots has happened in the last few months.

More volunteers

We’ve been celebrating receiving a grant from Zero Waste Scotland to help support our 30-strong group of volunteers with practical skills. We’ll be able to send them on courses to learn furniture repair, sewing and print-making – all useful skills they can bring back to the project.

We’ll do this as part of a volunteer credit scheme – this means that the more time people volunteer to the project, the more credits they will earn towards courses – a great way for us to give something back for all the hard work and commitment.

Regular drop-in sessions

Mending laptops at Remade in EdinburghWe’ve held regular drop-in sessions and workshops since the new year, covering basic computer repair with Jonas, crocheting led by Cass, and mending with Marion to make clothes last longer. Ina and Cherry have had a steady stream of visitors to their mending station to learn how to hem frayed edges and patch pesky holes.

Between the drop-in sessions, Cherry’s also been running sold-out ‘Sew Mend and Remake’ courses through the council’s adult education service.

It’s nice to have the balance of activities and as soon as we have more storage space we’re looking forward to adding in some furniture repair, too.

Spreading the Remade love

Remade has been getting more and more coverage as time goes by – Rob and Sarah made a really moving short film about David Seagrave, who has Asperger’s, and is a much valued member of our group, and Greener Leith produced a lovely podcast.

It’s great to see services like this which will help ordinary people save money

There's been lots of interest in the computer side of things too. We had a crew from STV come and film Jonas fixing a computer (everyone who actually needed a computer fixed got suddenly camera shy so guess who acted the role of the person whose computer needed fixing)! Can’t wait to see the programme - we’ll post the date on our facebook page as soon as we know when it's going to be on.

Political support

We also had a visit from MSP Sarah Boyack. Sarah put in a motion of support for us at the Scottish Parliament. She said “It’s great to see services like this which will help ordinary people save money”. We really hope that this political support will help us find our own site so we can open up our services throughout the week. This week we went to look at some empty retail units owned by the Council – watch this space.

Remade around the world

Just this week I was down in London again visiting Hannah from Remade in Brixton – got to see the garages which are going to be converted over the summer, and met with Julika to learn about 10:10's exciting plans to run one-off Remade events around the world in April.

Remade is about culture change – not blaming people for wasteful behaviour, but helping develop facilities that enable people to reuse and repair.

10:10 Germany is planning an event in a vintage clothes shop and it was fascinating to speak to the 10:10 team in Argentina where reuse and repair is already second nature. A good reminder that Remade is about culture change – not blaming people for wasteful behaviour, but helping develop facilities that enable people to reuse and repair. Repair is not a new thing, but we want to revive the skills.

Looking forward to the future

So, what are our next steps? To secure some more permanent funding so we can deliver our three-year plan, which includes

  • Working with older people to collect their stories about lost repair skills,
  • Putting together a directory of repair services,
  • Supporting younger people with training.

We’ll also be running paid-entry workshops to generate an income for the project, but in the meantime, we’re appreciating every penny of the 10:10 crowd funded money – it’s allowing us to pay people to do really essential tasks,  and we’re using the budget sparingly and resourcefully, while continuing to keep the heart of the project based on volunteering, passion, and community good-will.

Please stay in touch with us or pop into one of our events – we’re at South Bridge Resource Centre every Friday morning 10-12, and every other week at Holy Corner (check our website for details). Plus we’ll have a stall at two community fairs on Saturday 10th and 17th March – check our our calendar for all the information.

With best wishes,

Sophie and everyone at Remade in Edinburgh

PS: A few of the best ways to stay in touch with us: