A new study commissioned by Scotland’s Share & Repair Network, a project of Circular Communities Scotland, seems to show that the cost-of-living crisis is driving Scots to embrace share and repair projects in a bid to save money while also reducing waste.
Financial savings were the primary motivation for Scots considering using share and repair projects, with 61% of nation-wide respondents citing this as their main reason for considering alternatives to buying new.
Emma Erwin, Share and Repair Network Coordinator commented: “This study shows that the cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on how Scots consume and live their lives. Changing the way we shop can be a huge stress, but we can support people to find cheaper ways to live, that also happen to be more sustainable, like repairing or borrowing goods. There are lots of amazing community projects across Scotland that can facilitate this, so we’d encourage people to look them up via our network and access the resources best suited to their needs.”
The study reported that there is a broad range of items people will try and repair from small electrical items (57%) to jewellery (47%). 55% of people also indicated they would be prepared to repair clothing, perhaps indicating a willingness to move away from the fast fashion craze.
From Ayr to Aberdeen, there are more than 50 projects across Scotland that are members of the Share and Repair Network that help people live more sustainably. These consist of sharing libraries that allow users to borrow an item instead of buying one new and repair projects that help people to fix an item, instead of throwing it away.
Despite these extensive resources, the study also found that while many Scots were willing to repair items, a significant percentage were unaware of local repair initiatives.
Michael Cook, CEO at Circular Communities Scotland, stated: “The study’s findings show that sharing and repair projects in Scotland have positive implications simultaneously for Scotland’s sustainability agenda, and to ease the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis for communities. With many people willing to borrow and repair items but unaware of local initiatives, we will continue to promote our members work to help communities access these crucial resources.”
Using share and repair projects promotes a circular economy, where products are repaired, reused and recycled to keep them out of landfill for as long as possible.
Established and run by Circular Communities Scotland in collaboration with Edinburgh Tool Library and The Edinburgh Remakery, The Share and Repair network aims to support existing, and to encourage the establishment of new sharing libraries and repair projects across the country.
The Share and Repair Network is funded by the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland and works to reduce consumption and cut waste in communities all over Scotland, contributing to Scottish Government’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.
For more information about the survey and to find a share and repair project in your area please visit www.shareandrepair.scot. To see the full report please visit https://www.circularcommunities.scot/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Share-and-Repair-Network-Market-Research.pdf.