Archive for the ‘Swap Shop’ category

3 pet beds, 2 skate boards and a Van Gogh print – our autumn swap shop

October 5th, 2015

SWSwapShop270915 SWSwapShop2709153 pet beds, 2 skate boards and a Van Gogh print – all items that were swapped at Sunday’s Sustainable Witney swap shop! The idea is to get unused items out of cupboards, attics and sheds so they can find a new home rather than ending up in the bin. At every swap shop, we’ve seen that one person’s junk is another person’s useful find.

We run swap shops to divert as many items as possible from landfill. We weigh all the items as they come in and then weigh the “landfill” pile of items that can’t be re used or recycled at the end. At last Sunday’s Swap shop we took in 562kg of items, of which only 5kg (less than 1%) went to landfill so it was a great success.

This swap shop was held in the big barn at Cogges Farm which opens onto the Langdale Common path into town. At 10am there was a queue of nearly 20 people keen to get swapping.

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A total of 105 people came plus 3 chickens from Cogges Farm but they didn’t lay an egg to swap!

While the swap shop was going on, Edible Gardens ran a seed swap where gardeners could share unwanted seeds.

The next event will be ReFashion event at Cogges barn on Sunday 1st November from 10am to 4pm – come and swish/swap clothes, shoes and accessories that you don’t want for items you do want for free! Bring any clothes or textiles you want to swap, donate or recycle. There will be an array of stands promoting the reuse, repair or upcycling of fabric.

To find out about future Sustainable Witney events please:

And we’re always looking for new volunteers, of all ages and experience levels. It took 9 of us to run the swap shop – could you be one of the people helping out next time?

Hear how we work on That’s Oxford

Autumn Swap Shop

September 23rd, 2015

This Sunday 10am to 12:30pm 27th September at Cogges Farm Barn

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Swap Shop

July 28th, 2015

There’s an autumn Swap Shop at Cogges on Sunday 27th September. Come along, get rid of your old (working) stuff, and maybe find a bargain.

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Trees, toilet seats and a curious chicken: it’s the Sustainable Witney swap shop!

October 27th, 2014
man with box containing Christmas tree, smiling

The Christmas tree awaits weighing

A Christmas tree, a toilet seat, a Mothercare buggy…no, it’s not the conveyor belt on The Generation Game, it’s the Sustainable Witney swap shop! The idea behind these events is to get unused items out of cupboards, attics and sheds so they can find a new home rather than ending up in the bin. Over the years we’ve been running these swap shops, it’s been proved again and again that one person’s junk is another person’s useful find. Something that you might hesitate to give to a charity shop is snatched up enthusiastically by someone who knows just what they can do with it…while you grab something that will be just perfect once you’ve cleaned it up a bit.

As a sustainability organisation, our biggest goal for the swap shops we run is to divert as many items as possible from landfill – although there will always be a small proportion of items that really can’t be rehomed or recycled. We calculate our success by weighing all the items as they come in and then weighing the “landfill” pile at the end. The October 2014 took in 552kg of items, of which only 4kg (less than 1%) went to landfill.

Jade plants in a box

This is what 11kg of jade plants looks like

One of the best things about our swap shops is the stories. We love it when people tell us the background to unusual items, or tell us what they’re going to do with the things they’ve just found.

One of our donations this time round was a big bag full of jade plants, weighing 11kg in total. Julie from Oxford took one, explaining: “This is going in my bathroom. They’re also called money plants, so maybe it’ll bring some wealth into my life – I’m broke at the moment!” She had turned up at the swap shop with a baby changing mat, no longer needed by her but quickly taken by another family.

Meanwhile, two children who’d come along with their grandparents were pleased with their finds. Lucy was delighted to find a vintage tea tin to store things in, while Olly was happy to find some “crafty” items so he can pursue his hobby of making jewellery.

Chicken pecking on barn floor

The curious chicken

Another important measure of success for us is attendance. We want plenty of people to come to our events and feel involved with Sustainable Witney. This swap shop was held in a great location: a big barn at Cogges Farm opening onto the Langdale Common path into town, which meant plenty of people dropping in on the walk past. Our greeter counted 107 people in total. The Cogges Farm location also meant that we got a visit from a curious chicken! (No, we didn’t try to weigh her!)

And that Christmas tree? Brigitte, the original owner, brought it along after 20 years’ faithful service. Despite its age, it was taken so fast that nobody saw it leave the building.

To find out about future Sustainable Witney events you can subscribe to this blog by entering your details into the form provided: Registration Form. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter. And we’re always looking for new volunteers, of all ages and experience levels. It took 16 of us to run yesterday’s swap shop – could you be one of the people helping out next time?

Autumn event schedule: Swap Shop, Dinnertime, Cogges Christmas, committee meeting…!

September 21st, 2014

We’ve come back from our summer break with a great schedule of sustainable events for Witney in autumn. We’re not finished yet, but here’s what’s already planned thanks to SW and other CAGs and like-minded organizations:

  • The committee is having its quarterly meeting at St Mary’s Church on Wednesday 15 October. All welcome: you don’t have to volunteer if you come along.
  • There’s an autumn Swap Shop at Cogges on Sunday 26 October. Come along, get rid of your old (working) stuff, and maybe find a bargain.
  • Dinnertime returns to Witney on Sunday 19 October. Click through and have a look at that amazing food they cooked last time; and then let Ellie know you’re coming along via the contact link on that post.
  • We have a stall at Cogges Christmas fair on Sunday 7 December, where we’ll be demonstrating sustainable Christmas decorations!

We’re also planning a sustainable drinks some time in the autumn, an informal social evening where we don’t have to feel like we’re organizing or doing specific tasks. Keep informed of this, and all our events, by registering to subscribe to our news feed.

Swap Shop at Cogges

September 20th, 2014

On Sunday 26 October we’ll be organizing one of our swap shops at Cogges.

Bring unwanted but usable items from around your home; or come along, browse and pick up a bargain: all for free and with no obligation to bring before you take!

Items can be dropped off from 9am; doors are open to browse 10am–12.30pm. We accept books, clothes, electric items (we’ll PAT-test them) and even old bras to send to developing countries. If we can divert it from landfill, it’s suitable for a swap shop!

Sunday swap shop is a success

April 7th, 2014
queue of people outside a building

An queue builds before the opening of Sunday’s swap shop

Carpet rolls, ceramic ornaments and a camp bed were all items donated to Sunday’s Sustainable Witney swap shop – and then taken away by new owners. The purpose of our swap shops is very simple: stop potentially useful things going to landfill. Lots of people on Sunday took the opportunity for a clearout, bringing piles of different things to the event at Cogges Farm. We weighed everything to measure just how much was being diverted from landfill, then laid it out on tables divided by category: clothes, books, toys and so on.

We counted 130 people through the door, mostly arriving with bags of unwanted items and then leaving with new finds. (You don’t have to bring anything to a swap shop to take things away, though; you can just turn up and take anything you need.) We weighed nearly half a tonne of donations and only 6kg of that went to landfill. Electrical items that failed our PAT checks were taken to the WEEE bins at Dix Pit so that the components could be  reused safely, while usable items such as clothes, books and bric-a-brac were donated to the Africa Appeal shop on Monday morning.  The only items that went to landfill were two old pieces of carpet and some polystyrene that couldn’t be recycled.

While the swap shop was going on, Edible Gardens ran a gardening workshop using tools that had originally been thrown away. They also ran a seed swap where gardeners could share unwanted seeds. After the gardening tools had been used in the demonstrations they were given away, escaping landfill for a little longer.

Our next swap shop will probably be in the autumn. If you register for our updates, you’ll be one of the first to hear about it.

This blog post was edited on 8th April to correct a misleading sentence that seemed to imply we sent electrical items to landfill.

Upcoming events: energy efficiency, cycle users and swap shop

March 31st, 2014

This is just a quick reminder of three Sustainable Witney-related events happening this week:

Something for everyone this week! Kind of. But you should put those in your diary if you haven’t already; and if you want to be kept abreast of local and related meetings and news, you should definitely register for the Sustainable Witney website. In return you’ll email notifications of our posts.

Our April Swap Shop at Cogges is fast approaching

March 13th, 2014

We’re organizing another Swap Shop on Sunday 6 April at Cogges, five minutes’ walk from the town centre, Madley Park and Cogges itself. Doors open at 9am for bringing, and 10am–12.30am for taking away.

What’s a swap shop, you might ask? Well, we’ve run a few before so we’ve got it down to a fine art by now:

  1. you can bring usable items you no longer need (if you like)
  2. you can take other people’s items away (if you like)
  3. but there’s no obligation to bring before you take, or vice versa

Ultimately the goal is to divert as many unwanted goods from landfill as we can, by pairing them up with people who need them and will make use of them. At the end of the day we partner with local charities to ensure as many items as possible are given a new lease of life.

At a rough estimate we’ve diverted around a ton and a half of waste from landfill through our past few swap shops, and they’re also a great way to envisage the things you own, and the very ideas of second-hand and reusing, in a different light. Come along if you’re available!

(Oh, and if you’d like to support the swap shop, here’s a poster you can print off and put up in your workplace or wherever you like!)

WODC’s swap shop on New Yatt Road next Wednesday

February 27th, 2014

WODC are running their own swap shop on Wednesday 5 March, 11am-2pm at the Elmfield council offices on New Yatt Road.

You can swap unwanted items for lovely new things for free:

  1. Hand over your own items
  2. Receive one token per item
  3. Choose another item from the swap shop
  4. Exchange one token for this (new) item

For more details visit the WODC website.

The WODC swap shop is part of Climate Week 2014, a national campaign to raise awareness of climate-change issues, and to encourage people to live and work more sustainably.

Swap shop

July 20th, 2013

On Sunday 6 April we’ll be organizing one of our swap shops at Cogges.

Bring unwanted but usable items from around your home; or come along, browse and pick up a bargain: all for free and with no obligation to bring before you take! And there’ll also be a seed swap with Edible Gardens, so do bring along any seeds to swap.

Items can be dropped off from 9am; doors are open to browse 10am–12.30pm. We accept books, clothes, electric items (we’ll PAT-test them) and even old bras to send to developing countries. If we can divert it from landfill, it’s suitable for a swap shop!

If you’re interested in supporting Sustainable Witney’s work, here’s a poster you can put up to advertise this event.

Refashion: recycle, upcycle or gift your old clothes

July 20th, 2013

Refashion is back! On Saturday 16 November, Sustainable Witney and WODC (among many other groups) will be hosting this year’s event in Witney.

Refashion is a celebration of all the ways you can do something better with your clothes than just throw them away: previous years have had swishing events (swapping clothes) supported by a pool of really good-quality clothes from local charity shops; repair and upcycling workshops, for making your old and maybe tatty items of clothing live again; and a presence from the charity shops, rag banks, a bra bank etc. if you just want to get rid!

Last year’s Refashion was amazing fun and incredibly successful, with attendance rivalling that of similar events in nearby cities that we won’t deign to name…. There’ll be more details on the site closer to the time, but put it in your diary now!

Swapshop and Upcycling Workshop

July 3rd, 2013

Upcycling - finished cushion cover400kg of treasure from lofts, garages and cupboards found its way to Madley Park Hall on Saturday June 8th to be swapped or taken away by anyone joining Sustainable Witney for our latest swap shop. Once again we found new homes for most of the items brought to us and we sent what was left to charity shops in the town, the WEE bins at the recycling centre and the fabric bank with only 0.9kg going to landfill. A record for us.

Our ever popular cafe raised funds towards the running costs and we had the help of 15 volunteers throughout the day ensuring another smooth running event.

Sadly our numbers were somewhat down, only 66 people attended down from around 300 at previous events. A shame as the quality of goods this time was very good, however, we were encouraged that most of the attendees were new to our swap shops and we were able to talk to most of them about our projects, including the Friends of the Earth Bee campaign: 25 signing up to ask David Cameron to support the Year of the Bee.

Our upcycling workshop in the afternoon was only attended by 5 but everyone went away happy with mended goods and new skills under their belts, and in my case a new cushion cover.

We hope to be holding our next Swap Shop at Cogges in September or October so watch this space for the date once confirmed.

Madley Park swapshop & upcycling day

January 30th, 2013

 

Witney's swap shops come to Madley Park: on Saturday 8 June, Madley Park community hall (near the Co-Op) will be hosting a day of swapping and upcycling: bring goods from 9.30am, for swapping from 10.30am onwards.  What's a swap shop? Anyone can bring belongings they don't want any more; and anyone can take what they can use, with no obligation to bring anything first. More information on this post about a previous swap shop.

MadleyUpcycling

Eynsham swap shop, Baptist Church Hall

September 24th, 2012

Eynsham are holding a swap shop on Saturday 29th September. It runs from 10am to 12 noon, at the Baptist Church Hall, Lombard St OX29 4HT.

Much like the Sustainable Witney swap shops, Eynsham’s will provide a chance to either get rid of your own reusable items – which are no longer useful to you – and maybe pick up something of use that someone else doesn’t need. There’ll also be PAT testing, so electrical items are welcome.