A major eight-week social media campaign launches today to encourage Scots to try upcycling – and discover the joys of re-use. Upcycle (verb): “reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.” ‘
Design Doctor’ – #DesignDoc – is run by Zero Waste Scotland to encourage and inspire everyone to try upcycling and discover the joys of re-use, with expert guidance from designers – both online and in person. The campaign will culminate in a range of interactive events at the end of November.
Each week, three Scottish designers – Emily Rose Vintage and Treemendus from Glasgow and Very Vintage from Edinburgh – will completely transform one of seven items of furniture and post the details on Twitter and Facebook. The pieces destined for upcycling will be sourced from a range of second-hand stores accredited by ‘Revolve’ – a re-use quality standard for shops who sell second hand goods in Scotland. The Revolve brand is only awarded to retailers who demonstrate a high level of excellence, both in service and product – making it safe, easy and inviting for everyone to buy second-hand items.
The Design Doctor designers will demonstrate a range of techniques and tricks to give people the creative inspiration to upcycle their own pieces of furniture, thus increasing the value of their item while lowering their carbon footprint.
Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod said: “The Design Doctor campaign is an ideal fit with the Scottish Government’s approach to creating a more circular economy in Scotland. The attraction of a more circular approach to our economy – where we keep materials flowing through the economy at as high a value as possible, for as long as possible – is that it tackles a number of economic, environmental, social and moral imperatives.
“Scotland’s Revolve programme is a great way to empower people to upcycle household items instead of throwing them away – and this is a concept that makes sense for business, industry, the public sector, and individuals. As we approach an expensive time of year in the run up to Christmas, this campaign is the perfect way to look at saving a bit of money and having the opportunity to be creative with some of your household items.”
Each week, Twitter and Facebook users who follow the #DesignDoc hashtag can see pictures of the piece of furniture waiting to be upcycled. Three ideas will be suggested by the designers as to how they might transform the piece and users will be asked to vote for their favourite design. The winning idea will be used to create the final upcycled article, with an accompanying ‘how to’ guide uploaded online with pictures. The social media campaign will also include a competition to win the chance to have a piece of furniture upcycled by one of the designers.
Izzie Johnston, Reuse and Repair Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said:“Our innovative Design Doctor social media campaign is all about encouraging people to overcome any uncertainties they may have about upcycling, and providing them with the skills and confidence to give it a try. The campaign centres around getting people involved and being interactive, so we’re really excited to see the results.
“Re-using things – whether that be through upcycling, donating unwanted items, or buying from re-use store – is one of the best options for the environment since it prevents waste going to landfill or simply being recycled. Upcycling is a particularly exciting aspect to this because it can add both aesthetic and financial value to an item.
“Those who feel inspired to re-use and buy second-hand can visit one of over 40 fantastic Revolve-accredited stores throughout Scotland, where they’ll find high quality, excellent value goods. They can also join the conversation on Twitter by following @revolvereuse. We really want people to realise that second-hand need never mean second best. Equally, there is a wonderful sense of pride, achievement – and even surprise – to be gained from producing something beautiful, unique and valuable for your home by upcycling something you already have.”
The campaign will also incorporate videos and blogs to engage people online, alongside five in-store upcycling workshops hosted by one of the three campaign designers at Revolve-accredited stores in Edinburgh, Irvine, the Isle of Bute, Dingwall and Dysart.
The Revolve-accredited stores donating furniture to the Design Doctor campaign are: Second Opportunities in Glasgow; Oskars in Paisley; New Start Highland and Everything Baby in Inverness; Cunninghame Furniture Recycling in Irvine, and Fyne Futures on the Isle of Bute.
There are now over 40 Revolve-accredited shops in Scotland. Customers with items they no longer require can ensure their goods are re-used rather than landfilled by contacting the National Re-Use Phone Line on 0800 0665 820. The facility allows callers to skip the hassle of taking large household items like bed frames, sofas and white goods to the local recycling centre, and instead have them picked up and taken to be re-used by someone else, free of charge. Re-using rather than recycling 100 sofas, for example, saves 1.5 tonnes of carbon and is a much more environmentally-friendly option.