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About us

WHO  we are

SHRUB was started in 2008 as a response to the throwaway culture that had developed at Edinburgh University with so many students having to buy new things at the start of the academic year, and then being unable to take these things home with them when the year was over. A group of students and EUAS staff felt this to be a regrettable waste of valuable resource and so decided to set up a 'freeshop', where incoming students could take things during Freshers' Week, that were discarded by students who had left the university earlier that year.

SHRUB was established as a not for profit company limited by guarantee in March 2013.



SHRUB As of November 2018, we are registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), meaning we have charitable status.

HOW  we work

Historically, SHRUB members were primarily students, however, our membership has become increasingly diverse, incorporating individuals from a range of ages and backgrounds in the local community.

As a co­operative, SHRUB operates an open membership policy - anybody above the age of 16 can become a member. You can join as a paying member or by volunteering with us.

SHRUB is organised non-hierarchically and governed through consensus-based decision making. Members are encouraged to join in decision making and to stand for a position as a Trustee. Trustees are elected at the AGM and are legally liable for the Co­op.


WHY  we work

  • We value inclusivity and work with others to provide a welcoming community for all.

  • We act with integrity and strive to be sustainable in everything we do.

  • We live by co-operative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.

  • We provide a welcoming space for rethinking our relationship to waste, reducing consumption and developing effective use of resources.

  • We support community empowerment in Edinburgh, learning and sharing skills to make a practical difference to the world we share.

  • We deliver innovative waste prevention, creative reuse and repair practices in a living laboratory of Circular Economy.

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