A Lanarkshire clothes recycling project has opened the doors to its new swap shop on the busy Rutherglen Main Street, thanks to £10,000 of funding from urban regeneration company Clyde Gateway.
R:evolve Recycle is an innovative scheme run by Lightburn Elderly Association Project (LEAP), a charity that aims to enhance the lives of older people in South Lanarkshire. Anyone can sign up to become a member of the scheme, and bring their unwanted clothes to donate in exchange for points. These points can then be used to ‘purchase’ something new, completely free of charge, from one of the project’s three Lanarkshire shops.
The recent funding from Clyde Gateway has helped the project move its Rutherglen shop to 71 Main Street, a much busier location than the previous premises on Farmeloan Road.
The new shop opened on 10th January, and in the first week alone 38 new members have signed up, and 186 swaps have taken place.
R:evolve Recycle also offers creative volunteering opportunities to older people, including passing on their textile skills to allow families to repair their clothes rather than throw them away. Textile workshops – which will run from the new Rutherglen shop from February onwards – are led by skilled volunteers and include knitting, sewing, dress making and up-cycling. Since it began, the project has saved an estimated 19 tonnes of textiles and 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Niki Spence, Senior Manager, Business & Community Growth at Clyde Gateway, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help this fantastic project to move its Rutherglen shop to a busier location, which I know will bring it even more customers and even more success. There are so many great things about this project – it benefits the environment, it offers exciting volunteering opportunities, and it teaches local people how to mend their old clothes – or swap them – rather than just throw them away, which saves them money too.”
Wendy Russell, Sustainability Development Manager for LEAP said: “The support we have received from Clyde Gateway in amazing, without them we really could not have taken up this opportunity. The new shop is such a fantastic space for us and gives us such a great opportunity to expand our services to meet local demand.
“In the first week of operation we were astonished at the number of new members and people who didn’t even know we existed until now, thanks to our presence on the Main Street. What’s more exciting is that the Clyde Gateway bus now stops right outside our door. That’s great for us as it means that we can reach even more people and ensure that everyone is sharing their clothes and reducing their landfill waste.”