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The financial crash in 2008 provided the impetus for Sophie to set up Remade in Brixton and build a local economy where “elderly immigrants could teach unemployed bankers some useful skills”.

The financial crash in 2008 provided the impetus for Sophie to set up Remade in Brixton and build a local economy where ” elderly immigrants could teach unemployed bankers some useful skills”.

Launching the idea at Transition Town Brixton, Sophie met Hannah Lewis who went on with others to persuade Lambeth Council to gift a set of disused garages that could each be converted into a reuse and repair social enterprise

In Edinburgh in 2011, Sophie grew the idea from a group of volunteers and £60 to a  business model which generated £230,000 turnover, achieved 80% income from trading. Partnering with the University and local homeless and refugee charities created business efficiencies and  deliver additional social and educational benefits.

EU immigrants helped grow the business and create jobs for British workers and the team grew from three to ten with the opening of the new shop, the Edinburgh Remakery in Leith. Sophie won UK Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 for plans to scale Remade in Edinburgh’s impact through replicating this proven partnership-based business model.

The Remakery in Brixton and The Edinburgh Remakery are now flourishing as independent organisations, having both  been incubated in the transition town movement.

Lucy Siegle from the Guardian writes:

Creator Sophie Unwin has turned a former bank branch into a re-use and repair superstore. To some, this will seem unlikely to make a significant difference. I disagree. I think repair on a high street level can be a significant intervention.