Spotlight on Tayside Upcycling and Craft Centre CIC

Posted: 28 November 2023, in Member Spotlight-News

We’re delighted to be joined by Tayside Upcycling and Craft Centre in our latest member spotlight. Tayside Upcycling and Craft Centre (TUCC) is a social enterprise in Perthshire that was set up to champion upcycling. Since forming in 2020, TUCC has continued to grow and has featured in TV programmes like BBC’s ‘Money for Nothing’ series. We spoke to Alfie Iannetta, founder and one of the managing directors to find out more about what they do.

What does your social enterprise do?

Our CIC was set up to champion the environmental and social benefits of Upcycling. We showcase the work of close to 40 local Artisans all of which create up/recycled items for sale. We also offer advice and sell all the materials customers need to do their own upcycling project.

How do you do it?

We have a very busy shop on the Perth to Dundee A90 road and we attract lots of new Artisans as well as having built up a strong customer base. We have a very active Facebook and Instagram presence which helps promote visits to our Centre.

Why should someone buy or your product or services?

Every item that we sell is unique, has been created locally and has a strong environmental message. We also work with Artisans to ensure that they are financially rewarded for what they create whilst offering advice to customers wanting to start their own upcycling journey.

What’s your personal motivation?

Over and above the environmental impact we make internally and externally, I enjoy working with creative Artisans in offering a fair income stream for what they do by helping with costing. Branding and marketing. I also enjoy selling the story of the item and Artisan to customers.

What is the current focus for your social enterprise?

We are currently delivering our Educational Outreach Initiative, visiting local groups and organisations promoting the Environmental benefit of upcycling as well as the social impact on how it can help address the cost-of-living crisis.

What exciting things do you have coming up?

We are just about to start a winter series of “learn to Upcycle” workshops here at the Centre that will introduce lots of people to Upcycling and demonstrate the creative and fun side of furniture makeovers.

Who do you want to work with more?

Anyone that can help promote the huge positive impact that Upcycling delivers environmentally and socially. As we continue to grow, we want to engage with new Artisans, Customers and organisations that can promote or replicate our positive sustainable message.

What’s your biggest challenge?

It’s always a challenge trying to ensure that Artisans are fairly rewarded financially for what they create and sadly we can only store and upcycle a fraction of the amount of furniture donations we are offered. Storage is expensive but as we get busier hopefully, we can address this.

Where do you see your organisation in 5 years?

In larger premises in a town centre with pop up shops elsewhere. We have also been exploring the potential of franchising our CIC model with Government or Councils support.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?

Do your research properly before launching and never financially tie the enterprise into anything too long term as the only thing you can be sure of is that you can’t be sure of anything!

For more information about Tayside Upcycling & Craft Centre, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated with their work.

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