SCRAPantics: Affordable supplies for making

Nowadays the world is increasingly becoming environmentally friendly, but what does this mean for makers? Whether making for a business or a hobby, it’s important to consider where materials are coming from for both financial and environmental reasons. SCRAPantics, a scrap store in Dundee uses donations and sources scrap materials that can be used to make anything and everything.

We met with Sandy Greene, Managing Director of the Douglas Court shop, which is an Aladdin’s cave of scrap treasures, to learn more about the store and her plans for the future.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Sandy Greene and I have been working as a community artist for about 20 years in schools and other places. I wanted to be involved in the arts scene without trying to compete with anybody else so I set up SCRAPantics in Douglas Court where we receive materials from industry, retail and individuals before sorting them out, cleaning them up and selling on at a very cheap rate.

Why did you set up SCRAPantics? What was your inspiration?

Dundee used to have a scrap store just up the road from here which was great. Unfortunately however it had a fire so it closed down, and Tayside Recyclers have a small scrap space, but it’s not as artist specific as what we do. I’ve always used and known scrap stores myself and I felt Dundee could use one again. Everything in here would have gone to landfill which shows not only how much waste there is, but what we can do! I like that we’re much more ad-hoc than art stores, we don’t sell paints but rather, we sell unique finds such as linen, faux leather, wheelchair parts – anything! Every week is different!

Who can use SCRAPantics?

Anyone can come in and purchase from SCRAPantics but you do have to be a member. You can either pay £3 for a day membership, which allows you to purchase products on the day you visit or, you can take out a year membership which ranges from £7-50. Taking out a year membership means you can get involved in the AGM, have a say in decisions and volunteer with us. Anyone is welcome – community groups, theatre production companies, students, designers, shops for window displays, school teachers, scout groups, robot makers – the list is endless! We’ve got a section on our membership form which allows new members to request any materials for a project they’re working on. We get asked for a lot of things and we’re quite good at getting the weird and wonderful.

“SCRAPantics enables anyone and everyone to have a go, and that’s why it’s cheap. You can afford to make mistakes.”

scrapantics

Why choose to set up in Dundee?

I’ve lived around Dundee for the last 15 years, and it’s just popping at the moment. There’s a lot going on and a lot of people doing really creative things in the city. To be involved in resources brings in networking opportunities and it’s great to see what everyone is doing.

Do you have any future plans for SCRAPantics?

We got this space a year ago and opened in January. Originally we were going to have a bigger unit but thought we’d test the market first. People who come in get it, and are keen to receive more donations so we could move to a bigger space in future. We’d love a room where people can chill out, chat, experiment, take part in workshops and do make-offs.

We recently were awarded most environmentally friendly new business in Dundee, at the Dundee Social Enterprise Conference and are doing a workshop with Angus Council looking at creativity – it’s great to be recognised and gather interest amongst the local community. The sky is the limit!

Like SCRAPantics on Facebook, visit the store on Wednesdays 12-4pm and Thursdays 12-6pm in Douglas Court, behind WASPS Meadow Mill. You can donate to SCRAPantics by going into the store or getting in touch with Sandy via scrapantics@gmail.com.