Over 100 people attended the recent Bristol Reuse Festival showing that the practice of reuse is alive and kicking in the city. Held in the vibrant surburb of Easton, visitors were treated to all manner of reuse opportunities ranging from repair and mend to upcycling goods for future use. The festival succeeded in raising awareness about reuse opportunities and its importance, and assisted in developing community links.
The hub of the activity centred around St Marks Baptist Church with a reuse craft fair, a drumming workshop using junk instruments, a craft making workshop making gift boxes out of leaflets and greetings cards and people selling a range of goods – all reused, recycled, or upcycled, from bracelets made out of spoons to speakers made out of old suitcases there was something for everyone!. Bristol Waste, Bristol’s own waste and recycling company, and Borrow-it, a brand new app to help Bristolians borrow stuff, were also present and the Church café sold dishes using surplus food donated by FareShare South West.
Outside of the Church, activities continued with Bristol Bike Project’s bike repair service ‘Dr Bike’ and further up the road Café Connect hosted a repair café for electricals and clothing. Amongst the happy visitors were a couple who walked away with a fixed hand blender. There was also a‘jumble sale trail’ with over 30 houses across BS5 opening their doors to their neighbours to sell their clothes and bric-a-brac. At the same time, Tidy BS5 and Up Our Street undertook a litter pick in five parks across Easton.
The Bristol Reuse Network was founded as part of Bristol 2015, the year the city was European Green Capital, and the festival was a continuation of this work. Resource Futures is a member and part of the steering group who ran the event along with Jacqui Reeves from FareShare and others from the network. The festival was funded by Easton and Lawrence Hill Neighbourhood Management as part of their purpose to promote community cohesion and to prevent fly tipping in the area.
Jacqui Reeves, from FareShare South West and organiser of the event said:
“The turnout from the local community was great. This shows that there are a lot of people, that are keen to reuse things rather than see them being thrown away. We had lots of positive comments from visitors about how much they enjoyed the day; delighted to get valued goods repaired, pick up second-hand bargains or make music out of old junk! It also allowed the local community to connect and forge new links as BS5 seeks to improve its sustainability.”
The Bristol Reuse Network is now actively seeking further funding to continue its work to increase the city’s reuse levels.