5 and 6 December marked the culmination of a Scotland-wide, eight-week social media campaign to encourage people to upcycle and re-use furniture.
The Design Doctor campaign, run by Zero Waste Scotland, brought all the online elements of the campaign together in an interactive event at Ocean Terminal shopping centre in Edinburgh.
Andrew Pankhurst, Consumer Engagement Manager at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Design Doctor is a brand new initiative for Zero Waste Scotland, so we’re delighted that with over 250,000 views on our Facebook and Twitter pages, it has achieved its aim of inspiring people throughout the country to try upcycling and to discover the many benefits of re-use.
“Re-using things – whether that be through upcycling, donating unwanted items, or buying from a re-use store not only saves money – it is one of the best options for the environment since it prevents waste going to landfill and lowers the carbon emissions associated with manufacturing new items.”
Attendees at the Ocean Terminal event were treated to a display of all the upcycled furniture used in the campaign’s online demonstrations and enjoyed face-to-face interaction – or joined a workshop – with the campaign’s designers. The upcycling-inspired extravaganza also featured top Scottish celebrity interior design expert, John Amabile, who hosted a series of exclusive upcycling workshops throughout the weekend.
John Amabile – best known for his regular TV appearances on makeover shows such as ITV’s Better Homes and 60 Minute Makeover – who also created a series of exclusive upcycling online tutorials for Design Doctor on www.recycleforscotland.com, said: “I’ve been in the interior design business for a long time now – and have to say that Design Doctor is one of the most clever and innovative campaigns I’ve seen in terms of getting people excited about DIY and upcycling! The fact that it’s social media-based is brilliant, as it makes it so easy to share information, advice and examples and is really effective in encouraging people to share their upcycling successes and inspire others.
“Upcycling is something everyone ought to try at least once. It can be much easier to get really impressive and professional-looking results than you might think – and it makes old, perhaps unwanted furniture look totally chic and desirable again. Not only do you end up with a piece of furniture that’s styled exactly to your own specifications – you’re also saving yourself the cash that you might have otherwise spent on something new.”
Each week of the campaign, three Scottish designers – Emily Rose Vintage and Treemendus from Glasgow and Very Vintage from Edinburgh – completely transformed one of seven items of furniture and shared the details on Twitter and Facebook. The upcycled pieces were sourced from a range of second-hand stores accredited by ‘Revolve’ – a re-use quality standard for shops who sell second hand goods in Scotland.
Twitter and Facebook users who followed the #DesignDoc hashtag were invited to submit an online vote for one of three designs suggested by the campaign designers. The design with the highest number of votes was then applied to the piece of furniture, with an accompanying ‘how to’ guide and pictures posted online. The weekly process provided viewers with a range of techniques and tricks to give them the creative inspiration to upcycle their own pieces of furniture.
Where to look for it and who to contact
There are now over 40 Revolve-accredited shops in Scotland selling high quality, low-priced second hand items which are ideal for upcycling projects. Those who have furniture they no longer require can ensure it is re-used rather than sent to landfill by contacting the National Re-Use Phone Line on 0800 0665 820. The facility allows callers to skip the hassle of taking large household items like bed frames, sofas and white goods to the local recycling centre, and have them picked up and taken to be re-used by someone else, free of charge. Re-using rather than recycling 100 sofas, for example, saves 1.5 tonnes of carbon and is a much more environmentally-friendly option.
Follow the #DesignDoc action on www.facebook.com/RecycleForScotland and www.twitter.com/ZeroWasteScot.
To find out more about the Revolve programme, visit www.revolvereuse.com or follow @revolvereuse on Twitter. Businesses with an interest in becoming Revolve accredited can find out more here.