There be Money in Old Junk.
RECRE8 is a Community Interest Company set up on the Island to help groups of unemployed people take the skills they have, or acquire new skills to develop a range of upcycled products that are then sold to create a revenue stream that all involved can take an equitable share in. The principle is that it helps people acquire the skills to make something and then it trains others to sell the products and everyone shares in the revenues created.
It started with the acquisition of 27 Green Goddess fire engine hoses that had been commissioned in the early 1950s. Each hose cost £15 and from the first hose one of a kind laptop bag was made, using the bit of hose that had the serial number and date of issue stencilled on to it. Then from the rest of the hose a limited edition run of 205 wallets were manufactured, each being stencilled with the serial number from the hose they were cut from and the date that the hose was commissioned.
To finish off the product handmade boxes, made from waste cardboard from a local factory, and a small card giving details of the vehicle were the hoses were found and those involved in the project was inserted.
The team then went to a number of events and over the course of the first 6 sales days, including a day on the High Street at East Dulwich, they sold half the stock from the first hose and made £1200. Each hose therefore should generate £2400. Not bad from a hose that cost £15.
RECRE8 have also been busy prototyping bags made from seat belts, jewellery made from old computer circuit boards and electronic components and also furniture made from scrap bicycle wheels and so is looking to expand it’s range. You can find out more on the RECRE8 website.