CRNI (Community Resources Network Ireland), the representative body for community based reuse, repair and recycling organisations in Ireland, today awarded the ReMark Quality Mark to seven organisations across the country for their outstanding commitment to sustainability and circular practices.
The awards ceremony, hosted by sustainability advocate Fionnuala Jay at CRNI’s HQ in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Dublin 8, saw the following organisations recognised for their successful participation in the ReMark pilot scheme over the past 12 months:
- Simon Charity Shops – operated by the Dublin Simon Community, the Simon Charity Shops are stocked with high-quality goods, both new and reused, helping to fund the charity’s work supporting those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Meath, Louth, Cavan, and Monaghan. With a strong sustainability ethos, Simon continuously seeks to reduce waste through recycling and reuse channels and are proud to be active members of the circular economy.
- ReCreate – a Dublin based award-winning social enterprise based around the concept of ‘creative reuse’, which encourages the public to reuse materials that would normally be sent to landfill or recycling in all kinds of creative and inventive ways, giving them a new lease of life. In the ten years since its inception ReCreate has redirected over 1,000 tonnes of material from landfill.
- Native Events – a Dublin based organisation specialising in providing sustainable solutions for festivals, events, and arts and culture organisations, dedicated to helping reduce environmental impact, promote circular economy principles, and create memorable experiences that prioritize sustainability, climate action, nature, and biodiversity.
- An Mheitheal Rothar – a Galway based community bike workshop which sells recycled bikes, parts, and accessories, and provides paid repairs, training, and services. The organisation takes discarded or donated bikes and uses them to provide valuable training in cycle mechanics for trainees, while creating second hand bikes for sale to the public. It also holds regular DIY workshops where anyone can be supported to learn to fix their own bike.
- IRD Duhallow Furniture Revamp – a Cork based furniture recycling and re-use initiative which was established to provide sheltered training and employment opportunities, help the environment by reducing landfill, and provide quality up-cycled furniture at low cost to low-income or marginalised families and individuals.
- Deaf Enterprises – a Cork based profit for purpose social enterprise, that employs people primarily from the deaf and hard of hearing community, providing furniture upholstery, French polishing and bike repair services to consumers and businesses.
- Hands That Talk – A deaf charity in Dungiven, Londonderry striving for social inclusion for the deaf, offering recreational and accredited courses including Sign Language.
ReMark is a reuse certification scheme involving accreditation of reuse organisations to an accepted operational and sustainability standard. The ReMark accreditation is specifically designed for charities, non-profits and social enterprises and is an initiative of CRNI (Community Resources Network Ireland), funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications through the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS).
In order to achieve the ReMark Quality Mark, each organisation that applied for the pilot was initially assessed across a number of key areas including Social & Environmental, HR, Governance, Health & Safety, Circular Service Management, Data Protection, Customer Service & Communication, and Physical Premises, to identify areas for improvement.
The action plan for each differed according to the results of the initial assessment, and a timeline was agreed for each applicant to implement or improve their processes, with regular liaison and support from the ReMark Project Manager throughout. The accreditation process culminated in an audit carried out by independent auditors before a decision was made to award each organisation.
Emma Kavanagh, National Executive, CRNI, adds, “I’m delighted to see these organisations recognised today for their commitment to sustainable practices. Research carried out by CRNI reveals that 85% of all adults in Ireland have purchased and/or been gifted a re-used good, while two thirds of adults have used repair or refurbishment services. Millennials are the demographic who most frequently engage with the circular economy, with 49% purchasing or being gifted second hand items at least every couple of months. These figures are encouraging and point to a growing consumer appetite to engage with the circular economy, for a multitude of reasons.”
“However, the research also shows that 40% of adults believe that hygiene would influence them not to purchase a second-hand item, while 30% cite the unknown reliability of products. The ReMark Quality Mark is a step in the right direction to instil greater consumer confidence in engaging with the circular economy. By achieving the ReMark Quality Mark today, these organisations are at the forefront of sustainable social enterprises in Ireland, and we hope that many more follow suit.”
CRNI’s research also shows that one third of those who have not used circular economy services claim that this is down to none being local to them or not being aware that the service existed, while over half of the population cite better value and supporting charity or local business as key positive drivers for purchasing second hand items.
Fionnuala Jay, sustainability advocate and content creator, says, “I’ve long been a fan of a good charity shop haul and am constantly amazed at the treasures waiting to be discovered. But sustainability goes much further than just fashion and involves looking at the things we own through a new lens – how can we reuse or repair them, to help the planet and our own pocket? I’m thrilled to see the variety of social enterprises being awarded today, from furniture and bike repairs to charity shops to sustainable festivals, and to see social inclusion to the fore in so many of these organisations.”