Edinburgh Local

SHRUB Swap and Re-use Co-op

SHRUB is a community co-operative and social enterprise run by volunteers which allows local people to swap and re-use everything from clothes and books to kitchen equipment and bikes.

Based at 22 Bread Street, just off Chambers Street, the hub is also a social centre where like-minded people aim to build solutions to the challenges of climate change and wasteful consumption.

Our vision is of a Swap and Reuse Hub that is a community-led co-operative working for a world without waste. We focus on inspiring low-carbon lifestyles and encouraging a circular economy by learning and sharing skills to make a practical difference to the world we share

Joe ThompsonProject Co-ordinator

SHRUB started out nine years ago when our University students and staff in the Accommodation, Catering and Events department were looking for new ways to reduce the amount of waste which occurred in halls of residence at the end of every academic year when students went home for the holidays.  Nowadays, that waste is collected, sorted and stored, ready to give to the following year’s Freshers.

Volunteers from the University and the community run a Swap Shop open to all in the city, plus regular upcycling and bike maintenance workshops and educational events, with many volunteering opportunities.  A food-sharing network collects excess food from local businesses and shares it out.  Classes on practical repair and re-use techniques are particularly popular.

Over the past eight years, SHRUB has diverted 63 tonnes from landfill, saved 1,500 tCO2e, run over 1,000 workshops with thousands of students and community participants, and saved more than £35,000 in disposal costs.

In the last three years, with the help of the University and funding from the Climate Challenge Fund, SHRUB has grown from an idea into an exciting community hub for sustainable living.  This year alone, it has won an award from the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) for its collaborative approach to helping build a model for a low carbon circular economy in the heart of the city and a prestigious Green Gown award for its approach to social enterprise.

We want to thank CCF and the Green Gown judges for these awards and we thank and acknowledge the volunteers, members, and partners, including the University of Edinburgh, for the part they have played in our joint success!

Joe ThompsonProject Co-ordinator ​​​​​

Find out more

If you fancy swapping something you no longer need for something you do, or volunteering for bike maintenance or food-sharing, you’ll be welcome to drop in to the Swap Shop, 13 Guthrie Street between 2-7pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays or to email them on swapandreusehub@gmail.com