Edinburgh Local

Sew good! - University finds new homes for sewing machines

Last year Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and the Waste and Furniture Management team in Estates rehomed more than 40 serviced and working industrial sewing machines to the local community.

sewing machines at ECA

With the help of local social enterprise Miixer CIC, who work across East Lothian to encourage and create opportunities for the reuse of hundreds of items, the University was able to connect the sewing machines with a large range of community groups, charities, social enterprises and refugees.

All the machines had to be removed from University premises in three large van loads, and distributed to more than 20 organisations from a centrally located warehouse; all within a three hour period.

Sandie Whigham, Waste and Furniture Coordinator, went along to the warehouse to assist.

“ECA reached out to Waste and Furniture Management as they knew that we would be able to help with rehoming these sewing machines and time was of the essence! We contacted Simon at Miixer who was more than happy to assist. I went to the Miixer warehouse at Pitt Street to assist Simon in distributing these, and everyone was so pleased. We heard many good news stories about how they were going to be used in the local community.”

Sandie Whigham,Waste and Furniture Coordinator

The sewing machines have gone on to produce and repair thousands of garments; teach hundreds of people new skills, create jobs, and help support organisations that do not have the resources to buy new.

Find out more about waste recycling.