SLIC has been awarded a share of the John Lewis Partnership’s £1M Circular Future Fund to create up to 10 Lend & Mend Hubs in selected Scottish public libraries. 

The million-pound challenge was launched in November 2021 to find scalable projects with an alternative approach to the outdated linear ‘make…use…throw-away’ model. A total of 245 projects applied to the Fund which was raised from sales of 10p plastic bags. 

The winners were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts, including senior representatives from John Lewis & Partners and with support from environmental charity Hubbub. SLIC's Head of Programme Lindsey Henderson and Business Support Officer Marion Kunderan were joined by Inverclyde Libraries' Team Leader Alison Nolan to pitch to the expert panel. SLIC will now be supported over the next year by John Lewis and Hubbub to develop the Lend and Mend Hubs.

Marija Rompani, Director of Ethics and Sustainability at the John Lewis Partnership said: “Our throw-away culture and the waste it generates are unquestionably among the biggest challenges we will face in our lifetime and tackling them will require a different kind of thinking. All these inspirational projects have the potential to create real impact and will provide valuable learnings in promoting the urgent need to adopt a more circular way of living. With the funding awarded for the year ahead we want to help these amazing ideas to thrive for the long-term benefit of us all.”

Positive Impact

A total of eight projects were selected to pitch their projects to the independent panel. The other winning projects included expandable and recyclable children’s shoes, a game-changing period service the use of new CO2 technology to separate dyes from polyester to enable recycling. 

Saskia Restorick, Director of Hubbub added: “It is vital to rethink waste at this critical time for the environment, which means looking at new ways to value the goods we produce, buy and use. The quality and quantity of entries for the fund has shown us the wealth of ideas out there and given us real hope that things can be done differently.

“The four winners have the potential to deliver a positive and innovative impact on a national and even global scale and we look forward to supporting them to bring their visions to life."