A new community project aimed at reducing waste in Brightlingsea and helping residents to learn new repair skills has opened in New Street.
Mending Matters Brightlingsea – based in the former Jack Dove hardware store – will sell goods such as eco-friendly household cleaning products and toiletries alongside a space for repair and up-cycling workshops where people will be encouraged to swap skills and learn how to repair and maintain items.
“Now more than ever it has become more and more important to treasure and mend items rather than throw them away and buy new ones,” said Susie Jenkins, one of the team of volunteers comprising Christine Pollard, Zoe Jenkins and Mike Mathieson behind the project. “We can help reduce waste by running repair and up cycling workshops, clubs and drop in days so that people can swap skills and learn how to repair and maintain.”
Some of the repair sessions will be informal events to swap skills, while others will be workshops to learn a specific skill – such as repairing clothes. The shop will also have a register of professional repairers in the town and plenty of information about what can be recycled repairs in and around the town to sign post people who wanted a treasured item mended professionally as well as information and advice on recycling in general.
The store will be stocking a variety of non toxic household cleaner refills and plastic free alternatives like soap, brushes, bike oil, tool handles, shampoos, washing up liquid and make up remover pads, some made by local residents.
“Because we are a community shop we can keep the prices as low as we can and will run competitive offers on non toxic household cleaners and personal care refills,” said Susie. “Products like baby wipes block sewers and take years to break down and when they do they can be very bad for wildlife. We will sell washable baby wipes and make up pads and our biodegradable wipes will always be sold at cost price for this reason.”
If you have a repair skill that you’d like to pass on, the Mending Matters team would like to hear from you – just pop in to the shop and let the team know.