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Inverness charity highlighting its re-use credentials

A charity at the heart of efforts to promote Scotland’s ‘re-use’ sector will be visited today by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead. New Start Highland is part of a drive to develop a national quality standard for re-use businesses, which provide high quality goods at competitive prices as an alternative to the high street.

25 Jul 12

The standard, based on accreditations such as the Michelin star and Interflora, is a pilot programme being delivered by Community Recycling Network for Scotland (CRNS) on behalf of Zero Waste Scotland.  Known as Revolve, it aims to confirm and enhance the professionalism of the sector, and increase people’s awareness and confidence in buying items from re-use organisations.  If successful it will become Scotland’s national re-use quality standard as more organisations get involved. 

Buying re-used as opposed to new helps to protect our environment by giving items another life, and reducing our dependence on virgin materials, while in many cases raising money for a good cause and contributing to the local community.   

Visiting the recently opened store on Church Street, Inverness, Richard Lochhead saw how quality standards are embedded in the store’s layout and management to fulfil its commitment to Revolve and provide a positive customer experience.

Richard Lochhead, Environment Secretary said:

“No-one likes to see perfectly good items being thoughtlessly thrown away in landfill.  Unwanted, high quality items, like clothing, working small electrical items, and books, are valuable resources.  Re-using more is better for the environment, can provide a cheaper option for shoppers, and could boost Scotland’s economy too. Currently, Scottish householders save over £80 million a year by buying items donated for re-use.    

“It’s great to see the progress being made at New Start Highland towards the new quality standard. Developing a standard for Scotland’s re-use organisations is about shining a spotlight on the excellent products and services already available.  From collection services for unwanted items to repair schemes and re-sale outlets, re-use organisations offer an alternative way to dispose of unwanted items and shop for bargains while supporting good causes.”

Jenny Sim from Zero Waste Scotland said:

“Scotland has a wealth of outstanding re-use organisations, and the aim of Revolve is to bring these together to create a well-known network of stores offering high quality products and excellent customer care.  By increasing awareness for local stores and building confidence in the quality of items on offer, we hope re-use will become more commonplace and that we will see an increase in donations and sales across Scotland.”

Allan Sillars, New Start Highland Chair said:

“As one of the first re-use organisations to sign up to the Revolve quality standard programme, we are committed to providing our customers with high quality, value-for-money products and an excellent standard of customer service.  

“With help from Revolve, we’ve reviewed and enhanced all aspects of our store, from its layout and visual merchandise to the customer service skills of our staff.  We aim to provide a shopping experience comparable with the high street, which reflects the high quality items people can buy here.” 

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