Changeworks brought two beautiful and unique ‘Reuse Showhome’ exhibition spaces to Leith in 2018 and 2019 as part of the Zero Waste Leith project, which received funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Prior to the project starting, many residents were unaware of the breadth of existing local reuse and repair services and goods available to the community and some stigma existed surrounding reuse and repair of second-hand goods. 

Community involvement

The showhomes featured inspiring home-like rooms filled with reused and repaired furniture and furnishings from over 30 makers, charities and enterprises around Leith. Browse the photos or take a video tour. The exhibition celebrated the stories of these preloved and upcycled items. It also gave visitors the chance to try their hand at upcycling in a series of in-house workshops as well as find out where to source reused items in Leith.

More than 1,000 people visited the Leith showhomes, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Lasting impact

The Reuse Showhome events raised awareness of those working hard to reuse goods in Leith, and inspired visitors to make changes in their own homes. Nine months after visiting, 86 per cent of those we followed up with said the events had changed the way they value their possessions. 70 per cent of those surveyed who visited the 2019 showhome reported having fixed or reused clothing or furniture as a result of their visit.

One person described the actions they had taken:

“Had an oak bookcase professionally restored. Mended about 20 items of clothing for my family. Made a large patchwork from recycled shirts. Joined the Tool Library (though I have yet to borrow a tool!)”

The 2019 Reuse Showhome was hosted in a shop in Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre. Michelle Macleod, Centre Manager at Ocean Terminal, said:

“We are always looking to support local initiatives where possible and look to move the centre forward in terms of sustainability in any way we can. The Reuse Showhome offered a unique and creative use of a vacant unit whilst bringing an interesting and informative pop-up to the centre.”

In response to the local community’s interest in the wealth of local reuse services already in Leith, Changeworks created the online Leith Reuse Map. It features over 60 organisations around Leith and makes it easy to find out where to give, fix or get reused household items.

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