Midlothian charity leads the way

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MARC, Midlothian’s Recycle Charity, is one of the first organisations in Scotland to achieve accreditation for the new Revolve re-use quality standard offered by Zero Waste Scotland.

The community-based organisation, which actively promotes the re-use of quality goods at competitive prices, has been working towards Revolve accreditation to gain national recognition for their customer focused organisation and urge more people to consider buying used goods.

Revolve, Scotland’s national re-use quality standard, aims to increase re-use by improving professionalism, customer experience and visibility of re-use organisations. A Zero Waste Scotland report reveals that over 70 per cent believe that buying reused goods offers good value and is often cheaper than buying new and MARC’s Revolve accreditation will help to give shoppers confidence.

MARC Chairperson Margot Russell said: “We are delighted that MARC has been awarded Revolve accreditation. Since we started working towards gaining the title we have seen a boost in trade as our customer experience is now at a level which rivals high street shopping.

“We believe there is a strong market in providing people with a sustainable alternative, and look forward to building customer confidence in the sector and passing on good practice to other organisations in the re-use sector.”

“We already use new technology to help us reach people throughout the area and our facebook page (www.facebook.com/marcshop.dalkeith) also allows people to preview some of our goods and services. We are always looking for donations of furniture and white goods and anyone wishing to do so should contact our reuse hotline on 0131 663 8888.”

The programme is backed by around £650,000 investment in the re-use sector in 2012-13 to continue to drive improvement.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland said: “The overall aim of Revolve is to lead and develop a change in Scotland’s re-use organisations, giving them the advice, training and support to develop a business model which provides customers with an experience that is comparable to commercial shops on the high street.

“We essentially want to increase the appeal of re-use, develop a sector of customer focussed organisations selling high quality products, and increase shoppers’ confidence in buying previously-owned goods. This is vital if we are to make the best possible use of the resources we have.

“This is a fantastic example of how funding can help kick start this change in perception of re-use. We’re looking forward to assisting more organisations.”