Changeworks partnered with the Edinburgh Remakery for the Zero Waste Leith project, which received funding from the European Regional Development Fund, to help Leithers develop their repair skills and to prevent broken furniture ending up as waste. Over 70% of Leithers said they wanted to learn more about how to reuse and repair items.

The Edinburgh Remakery ran free weekly repair evenings to help Leithers learn how to fix their furniture and clothing, as well as workshops in the community and a free collection service for broken furniture.

The Remakery supported Changeworks with other parts of the Zero Waste Leith project too, including providing furniture and running demos at the Reuse Showhome, collecting leftover furniture from the street swap, and leading a ‘Make Do and Mend’ session for primary school pupils and sheltered housing residents as part of our intergenerational project.

More than 1,500 people attended the workshops and repair evenings and the project saved 8 tonnes of furniture and other goods from disposal. The repair evenings dramatically increased people’s perceptions of what is ‘fixable’: 91% are now more likely to fix things rather than throwing them away and 77% feel there are fewer items that are ‘beyond repair’. Since attending a repair evening 72% feel more motivated to make their own repairs at home and 39% use their new skills on a monthly basis.

Stephanie Bowring, Marketing Manager at the Edinburgh Remakery said:

"Repair education is at the heart of the Edinburgh Remakery and being a part of the Zero Waste Leith project has allowed us to expand our free repair opportunities to reach even more people within the Leith community.”

Leithers loved the opportunity to have professional support with fixing their household items at the repair evenings. One participant, Steve, said:

“It was fantastic to be able to come in and receive advice from someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. I would never have even considered trying this out by myself at home, but now I’ve learned what needs to be done and how simple it can be I’ll definitely be fishing out more of my pieces to work on.”

The Edinburgh Remakery continue to run a variety of repair and reuse services to encourage waste-free living throughout Leith, visit their website for details.