Spotlight on The Edinburgh Remakery

Posted: 01 May 2023, in Member Spotlight

We’re delighted to be joined for our latest spotlight by The Edinburgh Remakery, an environmental social enterprise committed to reducing waste by creating a culture of repair and reuse that puts their community first. We caught up with Elaine Brown, CEO, to find out more about the work they do, plans for the year and tips for other social enterprises.

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?

Our vision is to create a culture of sustainable, waste-free living, and protect our planet for future generations. We do this by providing repair and reuse services and training to communities and businesses, supporting them in making tangible positive changes to reduce waste, all while supporting people in need through our community initiatives.

How do you do it?

We run a variety of workshops and events which teach people creative, sustainable skills. We also provide convenient ways for people and businesses to pass on their old electronics devices, such as laptops, to be repaired and reused. A portion of these are refurbished and sold on through our shop at affordable prices, with the rest being donated to people in need to tackle digital poverty.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?

It feels good to do good! Working at the Edinburgh Remakery fulfils my passion to tackle the climate emergency by promoting circular economy principals.  At the same time, I feel we are contributing to helping our communities and creating an inspiring place to work for our team. It’s just the best job.

What are your current projects?

We recently reintroduced our weekly Repair Café’s, where people can get help to fix their laptops and computers, and clothing and textiles items. These are free to attend, helping to make repair skills and services accessible and open to more people. We’re also building on our Tech Donation Box initiative, and we have several boxes now hosted by businesses and public spaces across the city, helping people in Edinburgh reduce their e-waste.

What exciting things do you have coming up?

This year we will be bringing back our much loved Community Clubs. Launched in 2022, these monthly clubs aim to tackle loneliness and social isolation, and improve the mental wellbeing of members of our Leith community. Recent funding is also allowing us to launch a Tech Donation Boxes for Schools project, to help our younger generations engage in positive actions to tackle climate change and reduce e-waste.

Who do you want to work with more?

We’d love to work with more community groups as well as members of the public, to help us better understand how we can create workshops, services and products that they want to see, and that will help them and help the planet! We work with businesses across the UK, but would love to engage more with corporates who are looking to expand their ‘green credentials’ through our team away days and workshops, and sponsorship of our Tech Donation Boxes.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge right now is around recruitment, which has been difficult for us these past couple of years. We have some exciting new positions and opportunities to get involved in innovative projects with us, but we often struggle to find people to fill them!

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?

Feel the fear but do it anyway! There will always be challenges being a social entrepreneur but the key is to embrace them and turn them into opportunities. Sometimes luck plays a part – offering the right thing at the right time – but it is also down to persistence and belief in what you’re doing.

For more information about The Edinburgh Remakery, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep updated with their work.

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