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Borrow Don't Buy CIC

This project aims to help their members reduce clutter, save money and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint while strengthening the community by simply borrowing not buying. This innovative 'library of things' based in Plymouth lends out anything from power drills to electric bikes and even encourages members to fix their own technical products by supporting repairing sessions.

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The Borrow Don't Buy Team

This innovative 'library of things' based in Plymouth lends out anything from power drills to electric bikes, to save waste and money.

Borrow Don’t Buy was started by a small group who worked together in a Plymouth co-working space and realised they had ‘a lot of stuff’. They built their project around similar lending libraries that already exist in the United States, Canada, and the UK.

People are invited to sign up and view the inventory online, reserve items and then pay as they borrow. The project aims to help their members reduce clutter, save money and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint while strengthening the community. They also promoted these ideals through their regular repairing sessions where they get experts in to help repair the more technical products.

The Borrow Don't Buy Team

Their ‘library of things’ was shut during the pandemic but they continued their sharing agenda by encouraging locals to donate their unused laptops, smartphones and tablets. Helped by the experts who support their repairing sessions, these were recycled and delivered to the people who really needed them. Their second hand digital devices helped local people to stay connected during lockdown and children to complete their school work remotely.

From 2018 to 2020, Borrow Don't Buy has saved the people of Plymouth over £90,000 of valuable income - enough to buy a two bedroom flat in the heart of the city. Their nominator says: “This project helps meet some of the most pressing challenges faced by the UK today, such as climate change and providing access to the things for the poorest and most vulnerable during these tough times.”

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