Monthly market growing in popularity and Re'Store shop aims to expand
Kal Di Paola wants to encourage people to set up small businesses in the area
March 9, 2023
Community initiatives to encourage more recycling in the area appear to be gaining momentum with more people keen to reduce waste, reuse and recycle.
Last Saturday’s (4 March) Market Reduce and Recycle Hub saw the Mount in the centre of Acton alive with activity as lots of organisations and businesses were there to offer help and advice on reducing carbon foot print.
The monthly MarketW3 on the first Saturday offers a chance to recycle with donated clothes, shoes and small electrical appliances handed on to TRAID. You can also bring old laptop to the Fixing Factory for them to be refurbished and donated to good causes.
Ealing Repair Café are also present enabling you to learn how to fix your clothes rather than throwing them away and Dr Bike is around from 2pm to 5pm offering free bike check ups and maintenance. You can also get your tools resharpened with the Renew Sharpening Service.
Market stalls offer a range of pre-loved, seconds and returned goods in including sportswear, womenswear and menswear. There is also a book swap with the Churchfield Association.
Picture: Acton Market
The 197 kg of unwanted clothes and shoes saved from landfill by Traid, will have reduced carbon emissions (CO2) by 1.79 tonnes and made water savings of 312.6m3. This is in addition to the 68 kgs of small electrical items collected which will be recycled.
More information and links to the hub stall holders are available here.
If your organisation, community group or as a trader are interested in getting a stall or can volunteer to help run some of the activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MarketW3 takes place on the first Saturday of every month
The same aims of reduce, reuse and recycle is also the driving force behind the Re’Store shop which opened in December on Churchfield Road.
It is managed by Kal Di Paola who wants to encourage local people to set up, or grow, small businesses in the area and help to reinvigorate the town centre.
She said, “We are dedicated to repairing, reusing and reselling the things we already own”.
Ealing Council offered the use of the shop on a nominal, or ‘peppercorn’, rent. It opens Wednesday-Saturday when it provides a hub for reselling and remaking household objects and clothes – and also runs workshops and classes.
“Every year we chuck away as much as we buy,” said Kal. “The old model of produce-consume-throw is outdated. We all need to do our bit to reduce this overconsumption.
“There are three reasons why it made sense to set up Re’Store: The cost-of-living crisis; the need for more sustainability because of the climate emergency; and also mental health – making things with your hands gets you off your phone and in a different headspace and coming here gets you talking to likeminded people, too. I have felt the benefits of it myself.
“It is all about teaching new skills, or refreshing people’s existing ones, so they can be inspired to reuse and remake, or set up their own business in the circular economy space – it is as much about entrepreneurship as it is about living more sustainably. But the key is turning waste into a material that can be used to create something new.”
Re’Store is hosting anywhere up to 10 workshops a month, which have included expert guidance from an upholsterer, a knitwear designer and a furniture restorer.
Kal explained: “We are trying to establish a network of local makers and we have set up a Re’Makers Club.
“At the moment, it is mainly upcycling clothes, jewellery, furniture and art.
“Some people have come who bought sewing machines but never got round to using them much – and we help them to take farther what they had already started themselves. Sometimes it is about confidence, sometimes about finding space to do it.
“They often have amazing skills but don’t have places to show them off or lack digital skills to get their name out there – we give them that space and support, people can learn from each other and perhaps support each other’s businesses as well.
“Come spring we will be opening an outdoor Re’Makery in the back garden and will have woodwork and metalwork tools for bigger jobs. We’d also like to take over the parking bay outside the store. There are endless ideas, but we are doing it one step at a time.”
Kal is also hoping to pilot a Re’School of Entrepreneurship with workshops for local people covering digital marketing and business skills. They will learn how to build a brand from scratch. It will have a particular emphasis on business ideas within the ‘green’ economy.
Eventually, the wider aim is to push the Re’Store idea further.
“High Streets are struggling but if you have the right offering, people will come to it. We are already seeing a lot of demand and can see the project evolving to a bigger space,” said Kal. “I would ultimately like to see Re’Stores on many, many high streets.”
“I used to be a fashion designer and started off in fast fashion,” said Kal. “But I fell out of love with that because of the lack of sustainability, so I went onto to start my own business with an online marketplace for more environmentally-conscious fashion. I then moved on to help local businesses, especially in Churchfield Road, with their launches, or with ongoing marketing and promotion. In all, I’ve got three decades of experience in start-up businesses. So, Re’Store is an evolution of everything I’ve ever done.
“I originally pitched the idea in 2019 to The Oaks Development which opened on Churchfield Rd and lacked any independent store but that didn’t get anywhere and so I then pitched it to the GLA. We piloted the Re’Store concept as a pop-up resale market in the Rocket pub over 6 months, after which we won the GLA funding and the council agreed to rent this unit to us at peppercorn rent.
“I hope we can play our part in promoting the circular economy, encouraging entrepreneurship and connecting the community. There are many great independent businesses in Churchfield Road, and a strong creative community in Park Royal who we hope to collaborate with to create a wider circular economy network.”
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