Some people love DIY but others loathe it. Jordan Ogg finds ways to take the pain out of beautifying your home with interior minded social enterprises
Edinburgh Remakery, Edinburgh
A recent arrival to the capital city’s best-loved boulevard, this social enterprise offers quality used furniture to funk up your pad, ranging from Georgian writing bureaus to Scandi-style lounge chairs. Located at the ben end of Leith Walk, Edinburgh Remakery is more than a just shop. Training in repair skills is available, there’s sewing and mending classes to get involved in, and workshops on leather repair and bookbinding. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a weekly repair surgery where you can get expert help mending your clothes.
The Wood Cooperative, Glasgow
Why choose one social enterprise when you could work with five all at the same time? This unique partnership between some of Glasgow’s best known social enterprises brings together traditional craft and design skills with modern recycling and cutting edge technology. It delivers on projects that might usually be too much for an individual member. This means it can build anything from a garden bench to a fully functioning home. Its specialism is in recycled and storm felled timber, and it offers training to the public. Good for both the environment and your own self-improvement.
A one-stop-shop in Bellshill offering everything you need for a home improvement project, large or small. Whether a patch of decorating, a spot of retiling, an extension or full house conversion, the Yooz warehouse has it all. Not only is everything on offer at a reasonable price, you can buy with confidence that you’re doing your bit for the community. Being the largest re-use centre in the UK allows the company to bring disadvantaged people into the workforce with its volunteer and work placement programme.
Edinburgh Tool Library, Edinburgh
UK households spend around £110 on tools every year. The average power drill is used for a total of 13 short minutes in its lifetime. Neither need be the case with forward-thinking social enterprises like the Edinburgh Tool Library. The first of its kind in the UK, it promotes sharing to reduce human impact on the environment. For an annual membership of £20, you get access to tools for DIY, gardening, decorating and machine repair. That’s over 500 tools in your hand without the need to store, maintain, or buy them in the first place. Just don’t go overboard – there’s no place for a power-drill in your living room!
Spruce Carpets, Govan
Who’d have thought that choosing a carpet could be an ethical quandary? Speak to the people at Spruce Carpets and you’ll soon understand why. For over 10 years this Govan-based social company has provided flooring made from recycled end of roll or surplus carpets to low income households. In turn, it offers work experience to people who have been excluded from the job market. It also does its bit for the planet by helping reduce landfill and finding new homes for damaged or surplus products from the big carpet manufacturers.
Cyan Clayworks, Edinburgh
Fill your home with your own creations by heading to Cyan Clayworks in Edinburgh for a session with its expert ceramicists. Not only will you learn how to make beautiful homewares, in doing so you’ll be supporting the recent graduates who work there. You can start off with taster classes, then move onto individual tuition. Perhaps you’ll end up hiring a studio. Who knows, maybe you’ll become the next Kath Kidson.
Green Aspirations, Stirlingshire
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that any socially-responsible soup lover must be in want of a hand-carved wooden spoon. With Green Aspirations, you can go one better by fashioning your very own piece of natural cutlery. In fact, you could carve a whole kitchen set and make yourself the envy of every hipster this side of Brooklyn! Set within the blissful Stirlingshire countryside, this community interest company offers lessons in all manner of forest related crafts, from stool and garden bench making to tool sharpening, for both kids and adults.