Resource Use

Scotland celebrates reuse certification milestone

Scotland’s circular economy has reached a reuse milestone, with 100 quality-certified stores and three superstore ‘hubs’, including its first online hub, now in operation.

(l-r) Blythswood Care Chief Executive James Cameron, Head of Operations Ian Matheson, Retail Manager Anne Failes, Zero Waste Scotland Strategic Programme Manager (Re-use) Izzie Eriksen, and Cabinet Secretary for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham
The landmark was announced today (8 August) by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham as she visited the country’s first reuse hub in Dingwall.

By being certified with the national Revolve kitemark, stores make shoppers aware that they are buying from a reputable retailer and can expect high-quality second-hand goods and an excellent customer experience. The stores also support local communities by providing jobs and retaining value within the local economy, by preventing usable items from ending up in landfill.

Following a report carried out by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) that found that 46 per cent of Scottish consumers would ‘hesitate to buy reused goods’ despite good value for money, due to concerns about quality and reliability, the Revolve certification was launched by the organisation in 2012 to increase consumer confidence. In order to receive accreditation shops are assessed on several points, including health and safety, customer care, shop layout and product testing.

The 100th shop to be awarded Revolve certification was the Revolve clothing store in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, marking a big step towards the Scottish government’s plan to build a resilient circular economy.

In addition to these certified stores, three large-scale re-use superstore hubs, the Edinburgh Remakery, Blythswood Carein Dingwall and ReStyle Argyll, the country’s first online hub, which was formally launched today, aim to represent second-hand goods as an attractive alternative for customers, therefore increasing re-use and driving up economies of scale for retailers.

Customer confidence

Speaking about the scheme, Cunningham said: “Reuse is one of the smartest ways in which we can keep products and materials out of landfill and in high-value use for longer. In Scotland we are working towards ambitious targets on waste, with no more than five per cent of all waste to go to landfill and 70 per cent of waste recycled or prepared for reuse by 2025.

“Re-use and repair superstores like Blythswood Care’s here in the Highlands, and ReStyle Argyll in Argyll, are at the forefront of those ambitions by making it easier for people to donate and shop for second-hand items. By shopping at these hubs, and other stores across Scotland with the Revolve logo, customers can be confident they have access to high-quality products which offer good value and support local communities through jobs and volunteering opportunities.”

Each year around 125,000 sofas and around 365,000 TVs end up in landfill in Scotland, demonstrating the vast amount of re-usable items that could be sold on second hand through the Revolve scheme. By shopping at Revolve accredited shops, consumers can keep products and materials with value in use for a longer time, helping to support local economies as well as protecting the environment. 

Scotland’s phone and online donation service for furniture and white goods, the Re-use Line, has also just recorded its highest number of donations in one month, with a record high of 30 tonnes of household goods donated, marking the changing attitudes of consumers towards reusing goods.

Consumers and businesses ‘waking up’ to reuse opportunity

“Scotland has a strong profile as a circular economy leader and has achieved global recognition for its vision and achievements to date – including an international Circulars Award presented and the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year,” said Ian Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland.

Scotland celebrates reuse certification milestone

“It’s clear both consumers and businesses are waking up to the scale of opportunity in re-use and repair. The extent to which the Revolve brand has grown – with over 100 stores now certified, including the first private sector organisations earlier this year – clearly demonstrates strong support for a more sustainable, more circular economy in Scotland.”

Head of Operations at Blythswood Care, Ian Matheson added: “Blythswood is delighted to be part of such a landmark moment for Scotland’s circular economy. This milestone demonstrates the number and quality of Revolve-certified stores with a range of attractive, good value pre-loved goods available to the Scottish public.”

“Through its re-use businesses selling books, bric-a-brac, clothing, furniture, rugs and electrical items, Blythswood Care and other third sector organisations in the Highlands contribute to carbon savings of over 10,000 tonnes a year.” 

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