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First private sector businesses certified with reuse quality standard

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Staff at Stirlingshire based textile recycling firm Nathan’s Wastesavers Ltd.

The addition of two for-profit re-use companies to its list of certified organisations is said to be boosting Zero Waste Scotland’s Revolve brand.

Revolve, a re-use quality standard for shops who sell second hand goods in Scotland, is seemingly expanding both its number of certified organisations as well as its scope and reach, as Nathan’s Wastesavers Ltd and Re-tek UK Ltd have now been announced as its first fully-certified private sector businesses.

It’s great for Revolve, says ZWS, and a boon for the businesses themselves, as Revolve certified status represents a unique commitment to quality and continuous improvement for re-use businesses. It is now being rolled out across a wider range of businesses than the not-for-profit third sector where it began, with major charity retailers and now private sector businesses successfully achieving certification.



Says ZWS, the logo assures customers that they are buying from a great re-use retailer committed to providing only the highest quality second hand products and excellent customer service.

Certified organisations comprise a wide range of stores across Scotland selling furniture, household items, clothes, white goods, carpets, baby equipment and bikes. Sense Scotland is the latest charity to achieve Revolve certification for eight of its stores in the west of Scotland. Over 100 stores are certified so far.

Zero Waste Scotland says Revolve markets its certified shops to customers as places where they can find unique or one-off items, great quality for less, as well as items with character that are made to last – in keeping with the circular economy philosophy that underpins re-use.

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IT re-use firm Re-tek is based in East Kilbride.

Historically, independent third sector re-use outlets as the main face of second-hand retail in Scotland, have been the lynchpin of Revolve.

However, that’s now said to be changing with the addition of UK-leading, Scotland-based private sector re-use businesses Nathan’s Wastesavers and IT asset recovery firm Re-tek to its portfolio of certified businesses.

“Reshaping our economy to be more circular and less dependent on traditional take, make and dispose models is part of our future, and Scotland is leading the way,” says a press release from ZWS. Revolve is a key plank of the re-use development work being taken forward by the organisation as part of the Scottish Government’s Making Things Last strategy. Scotland’s ambition and achievements in this area were recognised in January this year when Scotland won the Circulars Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions.

The certification is also an important badge of quality which allows Nathan’s and Retek to give their existing and potential customers assurance of the kind of products and services they provide, as well as their ambitions to be part of the circular economy.

About Nathans and Re-tek
Nathans Wastesavers, founded in 1903, is one of the UK’s largest textile recycling companies and is based in Denny, Stirlingshire. Over 250 people sort, grade and process over 600 tonnes of textile material every week. The firm is committed to creating and protecting jobs in the UK and exporting recycled products to Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Award-winning IT re-use firm Re-tek, based in East Kilbride, has worked closely with Zero Waste Scotland. The firm operates an ‘incentivised return’ business model, repairing and refurbishing used IT products and selling to new owners, sharing the revenue with the previous owner.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:
“I’m delighted to welcome Nathan’s Wastesavers and Re-tek as the first private sector Revolve certified businesses – this shows that Revolve is valuable to all re-use businesses, in the profit and non-profit sectors.

“The emergence of the circular economy is set to have a transformative effect here and around the world, creating new jobs and businesses opportunities and conserving valuable resources. Businesses like Nathan’s and Re-tek, which both have a track record in developing new, more resource efficient practices, show themselves to be ahead of the curve in grasping the opportunities the circular economy offers, as well as demonstrating an environmental awareness that does not only have to be the preserve of third sector businesses and social enterprises. I would like to congratulate these private sector businesses for their forward thinking and I hope others will follow their lead in due course and come and talk to us about Revolve certification.”

Re-Tek is delighted to be the first private sector business to achieve the Revolve accreditation, said Evelyn Toma, Managing Director. “Revolve is now widely recognised as a leading re-use standard and this award further demonstrates our leadership in the application of circular economy practices to high volume, highly secure IT Asset Disposal. Re-tek’s certification will hopefully encourage other private sector organisations to embrace the programme to develop their quality standards and improve their offering in the re-use sector.”

Peter Page, National Recycling Manager at Nathans Wastesavers said, “We decided to apply for certification to formalise all our individual procedures throughout the whole company. The accreditation helped us see what we were doing well and where we had some weaknesses.

“The most pleasing aspect of the process was that everyone bought into it. Production staff, drivers, supervisors, managers and directors all backed the need to get the accreditation and contributed from an early stage. We are hoping that Revolve certification will allow us to push for more, previously unobtainable, contracts thereby assisting charities and councils alike to fulfil their re-use targets and circular economy ambitions.”

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