Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Special -

Con­ducted by YouGov, and com­mis­sioned by Zero Waste Scot­land, the sur­vey re­vealed that 68 per cent would buy pre-loved items, with many look­ing to find good qual­ity and some­thing unique.

Of those who al­ready shopped in char­ity shops and vin­tage stores – as well as those con­sid­er­ing it in the fu­ture – 56 per cent wanted high stan­dards and low prices, while 44 per cent were look­ing for un­usual items.

And thanks to Zero Waste Scot­land’s na­tional qual­ity stan­dard, Scots can eas­ily find sec­ond-hard stores that meet their ex­pec­ta­tions.

Re­volve-stan­dard cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is given to sec­ond-hand sell­ers who thor­oughly check their stock for safety and qual­ity, and cre­ate at­trac­tive places to shop.

A spokesman for Zero Waste Scot­land ex­plained: “Mov­ing away from a throw-away cul­ture and reusing things more of­ten is a key part of Scot­land’s am­bi­tion to be a more cir­cu­lar econ­omy. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Mak­ing Things Last strat­egy calls for reusing and re­pair­ing to be­come more com­mon­place ac­tiv­i­ties.

“And Scot­land has a na­tional stan­dard, called Re­volve, which aims to en­cour­age peo­ple to re­use more by as­sur­ing high qual­ity and a good cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence when vis­it­ing re­use shops.

“Re­volve is about en­sur­ing peo­ple can shop sec­ond-hand with con­fi­dence, so the stan­dard is awarded to stores that have checked all items for qual­ity and safety, have at­trac­tive and easy to browse store lay­outs and great cus­tomer ser­vice.

“It’s about mak­ing buy­ing sec­ond-hand an at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive to buy­ing new and mak­ing the re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence more akin to shop­ping on the high street.”

One of al­most 100 stores across Scot­land that meets the Re­volve stan­dard is Glas­gow’s Merry-gor­ound, a so­cial en­ter­prise that spe­cialises in sell­ing sec­ond-hand ma­ter­nity and chil­dren’s goods.

In ad­di­tion to help­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity through fundrais­ing, Merry-go-round was also founded with the en­vi­ron­ment in mind.

Sa­man­tha Moir, founder of Merry-go-round, ex­plained: “A lot of peo­ple think, ‘It’s OK, I’ll buy new and then pass it on to some­one else.’ But if every­one does that then every­one is still buy­ing new items.

“It’s not about pass­ing it down to peo­ple who might not nec­es­sar­ily have as much money, but it’s about pass­ing it round.

She added: “There is this im­age of rum­mag­ing around in a char­ity shop, not know­ing what you’ll find. But with our store we’re try­ing to make it look ex­actly like a new shop, and I feel very strongly that there’s no rea­son why it shouldn’t.”

It’s es­ti­mated that 150,000 tonnes of re­us­able house­hold items, in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture, elec­tri­cals and tex­tiles, are sent to land­fill in Scot­land an­nu­ally.

And just reusing all the wash­ing ma­chines, T-shirts and so­fas alone would save more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emis­sions or the equiv­a­lent of tak­ing 17,000 cars off the road for a year.

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