Can beautiful items only be purchased in fancy shops? Is there a better destiny for the appliances we no longer need or find worth keeping than a landfill? What if things you don’t need could be way of getting things you wish you could have? And there is a bonus: you would be minimizing your eco footprint! Join this movement and you will have an opportunity to get involved and learn about the ways to Repair, Refuse, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.
Our project idea will take place in Osijek, small city in east Croatia
Osijek citizens are just starting to develop awareness of how important it is to repair and recycle and they still lack knowledge of the 5R concept (Repair/Reform, Refuse/Reject, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle) and its benefits. They buy and throw away too much, without thinking of the impact that fast fashion and wasteful consumption has on the environment. Often looking for lower prices, instead of quality, citizens are not aware of the resources they throw away and the potential for reuse and upcycling. The citizens of Osijek have lower purchasing power since the war which made a big impact on the economy and is still recovering. There is still a sense of apathy and people are not very active in public life and participate in shared decision making processes.
The shop itself will be open for citizens to bring their used “things” and participate in the repairment and upcycling of the products. They will be guided by facilitators who would help them in the idea design and implementation. The citizens will also be involved in the price development and agree on the value price they would put for their item. Some designs can be voted on-line by opinion polls from the social media (Facebook, Instagram etc.). Furthermore, we will organize public auctions where the citizens (interested buyers) will set the prices by bidding. These elements will ensure democratic and act.
The target group are the citizens of Osijek and the surrounding villages. We are going to focus also on young people since they are the creative force and they can also mobilize other youngsters via the social media channels (Instagram, Tic Toc etc.). The low economic activity of the Osijek region will raise the interest for our “shop” since they can also earn some money by engaging in this activity..Awareness of the importance of exchange, repair or upcycle of broken items, recycling, reusing.. will be developed, and the potential income from this will empower people, especially the unemployed and the poor, who can, in this positive way, contribute to society and earn.
I see the implementation of a business idea through establishing our shop that is exchanging goods with citizens and eight (8) workshops a month that we plan to organize. The goal is to bring the 5R concept closer to everyone who is somewhat environmentally aware, and the plan is to raise the awareness of the wider population. Special emphasis in the work of the association would be put on working with the youngest, given that at that age children are open to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. We believe that children could further empower their parents in the idea that the 5R concept is for the purpose of preserving a better tomorrow for generations to come
Osijek will have a place where it is possible to get value for the old things, citizens will be involved in upcycling- manufacturing revolution changing the way we turn wasted materials into new products, and in 5R concept. We will have a more sustainable and greener local community and environment with reduced percentage of waste deposition on landfills. Young people will be excited about upcycling and circular economy and will have access to a practical shop where they can learn and create value.
The concept of the shop can be used in any other city or village in a European country. It can be a model of engaging with citizens in value creation where they actively participate and earn some money too. The circular economy action plan on the European Commission reinforces upcycling and repairment and this is a practical way to implement such activities and engage with the citizens in a democratic way. The pricing, the creativity, designs and final products are to be made together with the citizens, at first in the shop physically, but after on-line and virtually.
We are motivated by the potential of things or resources that could be still usable and can be upcycled. The motivation for opening a store is to educate citizens to be active in the direction of including the 5R concept in their consumer and life habits, and thus help preserve nature and the environment. It combines environment and democracy because it involves citizens in the learning, the design creativity, pricing and final result. Our mission is to develop values and principles for a circular economy and enable education and practical solutions that protect the environment and strengthen the local economy and democracy.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
● Service contract for project coordinator (Full time) - 7800 EUR (650 month)
● Service contract for project assistant (Full time) - 6600 EUR (550 month)
● Rent of office / shop space for 12 months - 600 EUR
● Honoraria for external trainers, experts, service providers, etc. - 3000 EUR
● Materials for project implementation, store equipment, tools etc. - 4000 EUR
● Presentation of results, public relations and communications costs 1000 EUR
Any feedback is useful and we can learn from it. We are looking to develop a sustainable business model that involves people democratically in the activities and we would love to hear if there are other initiatives like this