Now here’s a fantastic one-stop-shop for everybody who’s working to shrink their waste, reduce their carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Cambridge Remakery is popping up in the new community space at The Grafton Centre over the weekend of 12 and 13 October and you’ll find plenty of help, advice and free activities here.
A Repair Cafe for electrical items, toys, clothing, bicycles etc.
Hands on workshops for bike maintenance, furniture repair, upholstery and jewellery repair
An upcycling activity with recycling advice and a bird feeder upcycling project for children
A Swish ... bring clothes you don’t wear and swap them for clothes you will wear at this women’s clothes swapping party
A sewing skillshare where you’ll pick up tips and acquire new sewing skills
A craftivism workshop on 13 October with an artist from Kettle’s Yard. Bring along a T shirt, scarf, jumper or bag on which to emblazon your own environmental message
One-to-one advice on living more sustainably from Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Transition Cambridge
Sustainable living stalls from The Nu Wardrobe, a clothes sharing social network, and Full Circle Shop, Cambridge’s own zero waste shop
Remakery projects are now established and flourishing in Brixton and Edinburgh with more in the pipeline for the UK and internationally. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if the Cambridge Remakery became a permanent hub to support us all as we work to live more sustainably??
Zero waste shopping has come to Cambridge, brought to us by Full Circle Shop, the brainchild of Johanna, Emma and Paul, three friends who bonded over their mutual love of our planet. When they couldn’t find an eco shop in the city, the ecologist, the bioinformatician and the engineer put their heads together and decided to start one themselves. Product ranges include items that are plastic free, reusable, sustainable, ethical and free from animal products.
They’ve been selling from their stall on Cambridge Market since the end of last year and you’ll find them there on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Full Circle Shop also pops up at repair cafes and community markets around Cambridge and they’re looking forward to being part of local summer events like Strawberry Fair and Arbury Carnival, where they’ll be helping with eco friendly activities in the Kids Zone.
So what will you find at Full Circle Shop? Several brands of soap, deodorant and solid shampoos, including a range from Cambridge’s own Zero Waste Path Shop, toothpaste, Dent tabs, bamboo toothbrushes and shaving kits.
Laundry needs are well catered for with soapnut shells and I love the Guppyfriend Washing Bag, a clever invention that prevents plastic fibres from getting into the water via your washing machine. Add in soy wax reusable wraps, bamboo straws and cutlery, insulated reusable drinks cups and the prettiest upcycled fabric wrap and it’s easy to see how making a few simple changes can help us move to a lower impact lifestyle and tread a little more lightly on our planet.
Full Circle Shop is also a member of Terracycle so you can drop off your empty crisp and biscuit packets, toothpaste tubes and used plastic toothbrushes for recycling.
Emma, Paul and Johanna have big plans for the future. They’d like to supply wholefoods such as lentils, pulses, beans, nuts, dried fruit, flour, grains, oils and vinegars so customers can refill their own containers. Full Circle Shop is currently crowdfunding with a target of £13,000 so they can invest in food stock, dispensers and a food storage facility as well as developing their website for online sales. Achieving a stretch target of £21,000 would enable the team to be mobile across Cambridgeshire, bringing their shop out in an electric van so customers can buy and collect orders without coming in to the city.
Emma tells me, “We’ve received such positive feedback for Full Circle Shop. People really want to make a change.” For more on Full Circle Shop’s ethos and product lines as well as their future plans and their crowdfunder, which runs until 17 April, take a look at the website.
We’ve all got them … those slightly sorry, broken objects stuffed into the cupboard under the stairs. You think you’ll get round to sorting them out one day. Or if you’re not handy (like us here at New in Cambridge!), you try to find someone who can fix these things then realise that the humongous repair bill means that it probably makes more sense to chuck said objects out and buy new. But for Cambridgeshire dwellers, there is a better way.
The Royston Repair Cafe inspired Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Transition Cambridge to kickstart the Cambridgeshire repair cafe movement about four years ago, to help reduce waste and promote skill sharing in a socially welcoming environment. Fifteen groups now run repair cafes across the county and last year, Cambridge hosted the world’s biggest repair cafe, comfortably smashing the world record for the number of repairs made.
There’s a Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus happening on Saturday 22 September at St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, from 1 – 4pm. It’s a simple system. A whole range of experienced repairers volunteer their time and skills to fix all sorts of items from electricals to jewellery and bikes to books. You either pre-book or just turn up (in which case there might be a short wait) with your object for repair. There is no charge for mending things but donations are always welcome and Cambridge Carbon Footprint is grateful to Mackays and Draper Tools who sponsor and supply the tools used by the repairers. Most things can be fixed but for the 15% of items that can’t, they’ll advise you on recycling and disposal.
You’ll also find a sewing repairs skillshare. Here you can learn basic sewing skills like hemming, darning and sewing on buttons that mean you can make simple repairs yourself in future. And if you’ve got any unfinished sewing or knitting projects hanging around, they’ll help you get to grips with those too.
There’s a draught proofing and repairs workshop with information on how to make your home cosier and cut your bills plus they’ll give you a free draught proofing pack to take away. Perfect now that there’s definitely an autumnal nip in the air!
For the younger generation, there’s going to be a Kids’ Repair Cafe on Friday 26 October from 9.30am- 12.30pm. It’s hosted by the Cambridge Film Festival at Arts Picturehouse and they’ll be screening environmental films including WALL-E through the day. Children can bring consoles, mechanical toys, gaming devices, electronic toys, teddie and dolls. As with all repair cafes, kids and their parent or carer stay with the repairers, using the process as a learning experience and helping to work out the best way to repair the broken toy.
I enjoyed meeting Nicole Barton, Volunteer and Events Organiser at Cambridge Carbon Footprint, to find out more about the repair cafes before writing this post. As she says, we talk about throwing things away but where is “away”? Nicole’s a woman with a lot of amazing statistics at her fingertips but one in particular blew my mind …..
….. if you repair a 13″ Macbook rather than chuck it out and buy a new one, you save the equivalent of 750kg of carbon
Well, now we’re in to those last days of the summer holidays, there’s a distinctly autumnal nip in the air most mornings and a sort of back-to-school feeling, even for those of us who left school many moons ago. Maybe it’s better thought of as a time for new beginnings! Here’s the what’s on listing for September. There’s plenty happening in the city and I’ll update through the month so do check back when you can.
1 – 2nd Taste of Anatolia. Films from Turkey. Facebook: tasteofanatolia
8th 9.30am – 2pm Queen Edith’s Share Fair and Skip Day. Wulfstan Way shops, Wulfstan Way CB1. Pop up moneyless market to swap and share clothes, games, books, stories, skills, home grown fruit, veg, flowers and more. http://www.queen-ediths.info/event/8sept2018
9th From 8.30am Bridge the Gap. Depart from Parker’s Piece CB1. A circular walk through the gardens of six Cambridge colleges, raising money for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill. http://www.arhc.org.uk/bridge-the-gap.asp Read more here
15th 1pm Phoenix Vocal Ensemble. Mozart, Faure and Bruckner. Great St Mary’s Church CB2. Free admission.
15th 7.30pm O Quam Gloriosum. Music for the saints by Tomas Luis de Victoria. De Profundis, Cambridge’s all male early music vocal ensemble. Jesus College Chapel CB5. Tickets on the door or from bit.ly/DPSaints