This Saturday, the Welcoming Association in Edinburgh held a free swap shop event at St Peters Church at 1pm aiming to reduce the amount of textiles produced and sent to landfills.
The family friendly event, which offered music, entertainment, and kids’ activities, was aimed at bringing diverse communities together to swap clothes, books, toys and other items.
Adil Abrahim, the community development practitioner working with the Welcoming Association, said: “this event is part of the Welcoming Greener Future project, which is a climate change project. It is funded by the Scottish government to keep Scotland beautiful.”
“We have this event as a part of recycling, as we encourage families to bring unwanted items from home so to divert them from going to landfills, and at the same time, they can take away things they need, such as clothes, bikes and kitchenware, so every one can be benefited.”
“This event, which is open for all communities to enjoy and meet other people, encourages people to recycle, reuse and reduce their waste and protect the environment.”
Many volunteers supporting the newcomers joined in for the welcoming.
Ann Mcfall, who holds a PhD in ecology, befriends newcomers to Edinburgh.
“I’m passionate about recycling because I’m a lifelong supporter of things like a Green Party. Recycling should be a normal part of everybody’s life so when something is no longer needed, it should be passed on and reused again by others so recycling is a history.”
Marek Chondromadidis, who moved here from Greece, is a long-time volunteer with the Welcoming Association.
“I’m here today to help with setting up the event, providing guidance to people who are participating, and making sure they are registered. I love helping with anything relevant to recycling to have a green future.”
Zora King, 65, from Scotland, said: “This a great event to exchange things because recycling is essential. I recycle everything that is recyclable and I do not buy new clothes. Second hand ones help to reduce the [amount of] textiles produced.”
Ahmad Holany, who moved to Edinburgh from Syria four years ago, says he is happy to bring along items for others to use.
“I love doing everything I can to protect the environment. I brought some items I no longer need so others can benefit from them, especially those who have just arrived in Edinburgh and need almost everything to rebuild their lives.”
The Greener Future Project will continue organising such activities in the future. The next swap shop event is due in 4 months, but the date still needs to be set by the Welcoming Association.