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By Haya Abdul Hai


New year, better sustainability practices.

‘New year, new me’ is a phrase that we hear a lot as the new year comes to a start. While we’re thriving to be the best versions of ourselves this year, let’s simultaneously help our planet be the best version of itself. The start of this year has been a little tough for the environment with many countries in Europe breaking records regarding the highest temperatures recorded for December and January (United Nations News, 2023). However, let’s keep hope and create a New Year’s resolution together to help our beloved planet. Here are 3 things you can change today that are likely to help reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Food waste

We’re all guilty of throwing away food but it’s another year to change this habit of ours together. A report by Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) states that 70% of the UK’s food waste was contributed by households in 2018, causing a drastic increase in greenhouse emissions. We as consumers have the duty to change our habits to stop this waste.

You can start by measuring ingredients you need for your meals, preserving food in freezers, and keeping track of expiry dates. Meal prepping for a few days, or a week is one way to go about measuring the ingredients needed. This practice can ensure the reduction of food waste as the prepped meals will have cooked the fast-perishing ingredients and are likely to last longer in the fridge. Another way to save these meals would be to freeze them till they are required. You’ll be saving your time, money, and the environment with this method! At the Food Sharing Hub in the SHRUB Coop, we have a section of the store dedicated to rescuing food from shops all over Edinburgh. With our pay-as-you-feel policy, we help all sorts of individuals cover the gap of their food insecurity as well as save food from waste.

2. Loofahs

A common product used in most households is a loofah: a scrunched-up plastic item that is used to wash one’s body. While these may seem like harmless products, loofahs are made of plastic and when used, microplastics are drained into our sewage systems, eventually reaching the ocean. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic that are eaten by marine life and as a result, end up in our food chain, harming the health of all living things. According to statistics by UNESCO (2022), an estimated 75 trillion microplastic fragments are floating about in the ocean.

To play our part in reducing these statistics, one item that can easily be replaced in the household is a loofah. Instead of using plastic-based loofahs, you can give natural loofah’s a try. Luffa Aegyptiaca is the scientific name for a plant that is used as a body sponge and can be grown in warm climates. Don’t worry, you don’t have to grow them though! Companies such as LoofCo sell these natural alternatives for a fair price, starting at £3 per body loofah. While plastic-based loofahs are a hub for bacterial growth, this natural loofah can be machine or hand washed to keep it bacteria free, lasts much longer, and can be composted when at the end of its life cycle. You can find these alongside other zero-waste products such as soaps and deodorants at our Zero Waste Hub.

3. Fast fashion footprint

In the past few years, there has been increasing awareness regarding the detrimental impact of fast fashion on the environment. The fast fashion model meets consumer demands quite rapidly and while we do look fabulous in our trendy clothing, most of our clothes end up getting discarded in landfills once they are out of style. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2017) found that 35% of the microplastics found in the ocean are during textile washing, resulting in a mass contribution towards plastic pollution in the ocean. It is no surprise that the fashion industry ranks fourth in terms of its negative environmental impact according to WRAP (2017).

As a New Year resolution, let’s reduce these numbers together by refraining from purchasing fast fashion items. Instead, let’s practice upcycling or donating our pre-loved clothing, and purchasing from second-hand stores. At SHRUB Co-op, we have made these features easily accessible to all those living in Edinburgh. You can join us at our bi-weekly sewing café where we mend and upcycle pre-loved clothing. Just bring your clothing and we will provide you with sewing equipment, as well as advice from our experienced volunteers. You can also donate your items at our hub, as well as purchase new pieces from our Swapshop. Together, we can make a difference.

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By SHRUB Coop, posted 22/11/22

We’re looking for more trustees to guide SHRUB Coop through 2023!

We invite applications from SHRUB members and others interested in contributing to the Coop’s development to join our group of Trustees. We are particularly looking for people with experience in the fields of HR, Fundraising and Social Enterprise but Trustees have a wide-ranging remit and there are opportunities for involvement across the work that SHRUB undertakes.

Why become a Trustee?

SHRUB is a cooperative with premises in central Edinburgh. Our Members contribute to decision-making processes. Trustees have special legal responsibilities and, in some circumstances may have to make sensitive or critical decisions on behalf of the Coop.

A Steering Group was established in May 2020 and now helps staff and working groups take the day-to-day decisions - meaning the Trustees’ role is mainly oversight and strategy.

Trustees learn about how our Social Enterprise runs and gain skills in leadership, problem - solving and innovation, strategic judgement and effective communication, to name a few.

Serving as a Trustee is an opportunity to learn about the governance of a not-for-profit organisation in a supportive environment, learning from more experienced Trustees and staff and the fresh perspective of newer Members alike.

Key Roles in Trustee team

  • Convenor

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Steering Group link

  • HR and Welfare support

  • Fundraising support

  • Risk and Compliance lead

  • Monitoring and Evaluation support

  • Governance and Policy lead

  • Communications support

  • Social Enterprise lead

  • Strategy and Vision lead

What skills do I need?

Trustees have a wide-ranging remit with some people leading on particular aspects, some playing a more general role. We are looking for people with experience and skills in the specific areas listed above, but we also welcome applications from people who want to develop their experience or who have a more general interest in SHRUB. We particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, including but not limited to: people of colour, trans people, non-binary people and women.

Trustees are responsible for overseeing development of the strategic framework within which day-to-day tasks are carried out by staff and volunteers, and they help guide our long-term planning.

What is the time commitment?

As a voluntary Trustee, you will make some clear time commitments: to attend regular Trustee meetings (2 hours each month, currently on a Tuesday evening), and participate in staff support mechanisms.

Trustees will preferably participate in the work of a Working Group - attending meetings where possible and contributing to the direction and content of work.

Time off can be arranged among Trustees, ensuring that there is a balance between Trustees’ wellbeing and SHRUB Coop functioning. If you cannot make a meeting you can let people know. There is a Welfare Working Group to support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of volunteers and members if you need support in regulating your engagement.

Who can apply?

Anyone who supports the Vision and Mission of SHRUB Coop is invited to apply. We particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, including but not limited to: people of colour, trans people, non-binary people, other members of the LGBT+ community, and women.


We’re a cooperative in Edinburgh working for a world without waste!

SHRUB Coop is an exciting community-led project that works to make big carbon savings by increasing awareness on sustainability issues and solutions.

The Coop is organised non-hierarchically and strives to provide an inclusive and empowering experience for all volunteers, staff and members in our community. You can read our Safer Spaces policy here.

SHRUB Coop is registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) - working for a world without waste. Our purpose is the advancement of:

  1. Environmental protection and improvement by contributing to a Zero Waste Edinburgh

  2. Education by providing training and skill-sharing in all functions of the enterprise

  3. Citizenship and community development through active participation.

Our Constitution provides for Trustees to formally oversee the activities of SHRUB Cooperative and ensure we act in accordance with our purposes and the wishes of members of the Cooperative.

How Do I Apply?

To apply, simply save a copy of this form, fill it out and send it, with a copy of your CV, to, with the subject: “Trustee application”. Please highlight in the form which Trustee role(s) you are interested in and perhaps have skills and experience in.

Deadline to apply: 1st December at 5pm.

We strongly encourage all the people applying to attend our AGM and introduce themselves to folk on the day. New trustees will be elected by the members of the SHRUB at the AGM. Relevant contents of your form and CV will be shared with the membership for election purposes.

Any questions please email us at

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By Aislinn Redbond


Fashion Revolution Week is a chance for action, education and empowerment.

It can be overwhelming learning about all the atrocities that the fashion industry involves. One need only read our articles ‘A Less-Than-Cheerful Assessment of the Fashion Industry’ (Part I and Part II) to understand just how many issues the fashion industry is hiding behind its glamorous catwalks. However, Fashion Revolution is not in the business of shaming individuals in the pursuit of systemic change. Instead, the focus is on educating people on how to change their attitudes towards fashion and encouraging everyone to demand higher standards from fashion conglomerates. So how do we stay optimistic and stylish at the same time?

The Fashion Revolution website offers a number of different ways to engage in fashion activism. Given that the industry carries a number of concerns, from human rights, and women’s rights in particular, to environmental violations and unsustainable resource use, the two hashtags #WhoMadeMyClothes and #WhatsInMyClothes challenge fashion brands to be transparent about how their products are designed and manufactured. This in turn encourages them to address the exploitative practices in their supply chain and contributes to the fight for change in the industry where brands respond to consumer demands.

The hashtag #WhoMadeMyFabric is also presented as a means to promote justice across all areas of the supply chain, not just in the manufacturing stage. Before work begins in the garment factories, a litany of environmental abuses have occurred in the production of fabrics, and in many cases, the farmers growing these resources are not paid a fair price for their labour. During Fashion Revolution Week, social media is an important tool to spotlight these issues and mobilise people across the globe to consider the implications of how their clothes were made.

Fashion Revolution also encourages consumers to get in touch with brands directly, either through social media message channels, or writing an email, in order to ask questions about the policies in place to protect workers and the environment. As the second most at-risk industry for modern slavery, it is again the pressure from consumers that can hold companies accountable for their complicity in unsafe and unjust business practices and usher in reform.

There will be a number of educational events hosted during Fashion Revolution Week too, with the schedule available here. These events will take place all over the world, spotlighting different issues and workshopping potential solutions to the crises of the fashion industry. The Fashion Open Studio is also a great chance to see the innovation occurring from within the industry itself, connecting consumers with designers and providing unique insight into the potential for transformation in fashion.

Of course, fashion activism is not an isolated movement that ends at the end of Fashion Revolution Week. These questions and actions are meaningful forms to engage in collective action, but we have the chance to carry these lessons through to our everyday lives too. By quitting fast fashion, or at least dramatically reducing our reliance on it, we can help to fight human rights injustices and reduce our environmental impact, and there are numerous tools out there to help with this transition. Focusing on keeping our clothes for longer helps to eliminate textile waste going to landfill, and shopping secondhand, renting clothing or just swapping with friends and family means that less resources are required to shake up our wardrobes, further protecting the environment. Here at Shrub Coop, we’re here to help you on this journey. You can find a great selection of clothing available in our Swapshop or through our Depop and eBay, from jackets and jumpers to shoes and handbags. And if you find yourself growing tired of one of your old favourite items, instead of throwing it into landfill or donating it to a clothes bank (where it will likely be downcycled), you can bring it into us and we’ll help find your clothing a new loving home. For Fashion Revolution Week and beyond, we can prove that a more ethical fashion industry will never go out of style.

Resources to learn more about quitting fast fashion:

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