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Supporting value driven manufacturing

Above photo Credit: Highland Stoneware, Photo: StudioRoRo

Since Make Works started in Scotland in 2012/2014, the manufacturing landscape has shifted at quite a pace; globally, nationally, and for Make Works itself.

Terms such as zero waste, circular economy, carbon footprint and responsibly sourced are part of our global languages whether we are producer, consumer or prosumer. With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow 31 October – 12 November 2021, such terms are currently in daily use as our focus is on the outcome of the global parties gathering to build on the Paris Agreement (2015) of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

Uist Wool - Make Works Scotand

In Scotland, the target for net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases is 2045, five years ahead of the UK. At the top level, the Scottish Government are encouraging businesses to acknowledge and record their current emissions and draw up an action plan with set targets and milestones, aligned with Scotland’s net zero ambition, to reduce them. 

Make Works began to make local manufacturing more accessible - whether creating products, making repairs, sourcing materials or accessing facilities. Naturally, our actions and learning, and that of our network of planet-conscious and community-minded manufacturers in Scotland, whether individual makers or small companies, has been to understand and simplify supply chains, make premises and processes efficient, reduce waste, responsibly source raw materials and communicate sustainable and ethical practices. And our growing series of Made Works Stories talks to that, demonstrating that users of Maker Works are making value driven decisions when making, manufacturing, creating, repairing and sourcing.

Keen to sustain and support value driven manufacturing within the local library of global manufacturing, and with the launch of the new Make Works website we have introduced new search categories to support people to match what they want to achieve and how with manufacturers.

The ‘Made Circular’ search will introduce you to manufacturers who use sustainable materials, up-cycle or produce zero waste, including PULP Paper in Glasgow (Make Works Scotland) and Upcycled Creative in Wirksworth (Make Works Derby & Derbyshire):

Alison Newman, Owner of PULP Paper: ‘There are a wide variety of fibres that can be used in paper maker such as items of clothing or plants.’

Pulp Paper - Make Works Scotland

Lee Richards, Owner of Upcycled Creative Owner ‘He is driven by a desire to recycle and reuse furniture to breath another life into objects.’ And ‘Upcycled Creative was founded by Lee Richards in 2012 as a response to a gap in the market for refurbishing old furniture, and being environmentally friendly at the same time. By working in this way Lee has been able to find creative solutions to reusing household and vintage items.’

Upcycled Creative - Make Works Scotland

Manufacturers ‘Production Details’ and ‘History’ provides further information about their approach to circular practices and principles in their business and encourage people to make contact with them to discuss their manufacturing needs in the context of their environmental and ethical values.

Addition of the ‘Made Circular’ tags to support fruitful searches and ultimately value driven manufacturing was very much driven by discussion with the Make Works Scotland maker and manufacturer community at our recent Materialising Circularity event which featured charity Edinburgh Tool Library, who ‘….believe in access over excess - that sharing is preferable to ownership’ and award-winning textiles manufacturer social enterprise Kalopsia Collective, who ‘…aim to batch manufacture textile products more ethically and sustainably.’

Kalopsia Collective - Make Works Scotland

Tags have been introduced at time when the Make Works network of international regions is growing, supported by it’s position in Distributed Design and association with Centrinno and the Fab City Global Initiative. The conversations we at Make Works Scotland are having with our European contemporaries are sparking many ideas, opportunities and learning that we believe will support local and sustainable manufacturing. 

We are encouraging our manufacturers, particularly those from our new regions, including Catalonia, Paris and Budapest, to add tags to their listings, so please check the Find the right manufacturer searches regularly for inspiration and insight.

Additional tags that will support you finding the right manufacturer for your project are ‘Zero Waste’, ‘Ancient Techniques’, ‘One of a Kind’, ‘Innovative Production’, ‘Family Business’, ‘Vegan’, ‘Women owned-business’.

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