Social Enterprise Spotlight – WASaBED
Posted: 18 August 2020, in News
Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Cory Jones and WASaBED. WASaBED recycle used bed linen into high quality handmade bags to help the environment. Read and share their Q&A interview below! Get in contact with Cory on email@example.com.
What’s your social and/or environmental mission?
WASaBED is our social enterprise. We recycle used bed linen into high quality handmade bags to help the environment.Saving the planet one bag at a time our Social Enterprise recycles retired bedlinen into sustainable handmade bespoke Beach Clean Bags. We will 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.
How do you do it? (client group, practical daily work, customers etc)
We started our social enterprise during lockdown. The ideas behind it have been bubbling away for a couple of years, but lockdown gave us the time to pull the project together. Now lockdown has eased and other day to day pressures have increased finding the quality time to continue the development of ‘Was A Bed’ will become more challenging. We are currently developing partner ships with hotels and laundry providers to source retired bed linen and creating amazing bags ourselves. As the volume of sales grows the network of local sewers will be developed.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
I helped set up a Co-operative of small training companies six years ago – First Aid training Co-operative (https://firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk). I know from experience that collaboration and sharing or resources makes things more achievable. Locally we know there is a plastic pollution problem on our beaches and by promoting beach clean bags we can contribute to a partial solution to this issue. Also, Mandy works in hospitality and see’s usable sheets going to landfill when they can be repurposed instead.
What are your current projects?
We are working with Just Enterprise and Impact Hub Inverness and doing some planning for taking the social enterprise from a home-based project to a more commercial scale. Their support has been very useful as a sounding board for our ideas.
What exciting things do you have coming up?
WASaBED will be starting to work with Zero Waste Scotland in the next couple of months. They will try to open access up to linen suppliers who can boost their environmental (carbon saving) credentials by suppling linen to us rather than sending it to landfill. Zero Waste Scotland will also help to calculate the carbon savings of our project over time.
Who do you want to work with more?
At the moment not all businesses have all their staff back at work. Many are still on furlough. We are looking to work with environmental mangers at laundry companies to discuss the idea of providing used bedlinen to WASaBED.
What’s your biggest challenge?
Was a Bed started out with the branding WASaBED NOWaBAG but we changed to just WASaBED. Because there was so much more we could do with retired bedlinen – WasaBED NOWa Bread BAG for your homemade sour dough. WasaBED but now a… you can create some great ideas but which ones will actually help develop some income for the business.
What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
Think about long term viability from the start of your project. You may have a great idea but how can that be sustained financially and in terms of personnel, if you don’t have any grant money or you as the individual who has had the energy to start the project has to leave and work on something else.