Friends Quit Jobs and Open Arbroath ShopNeil Hardie
Working in a charity’s management team was no dream job for Arbroath friends Sam McDonald and Amanda Digance.
Sam describes it as “a dreadful time” and for the first time in both their lives, the colleagues quit.
When Amanda went to get her nails done at a Keptie Street shop, the pair’s next opportunity came along.
Sam says: “The lady who owned the shop said she was about to hand her notice in and asked if we would be interested.
“And that’s how it happened. Amanda came out, phoned me and said: ‘How about we start our own shop?’
“It took six weeks from the shop coming about to opening.”
Amanda and Sam, both in their 50’s, opened Recycle-Reuse-Relove in April.
The shop offers branded prelove fashion at a low price. Their are clothes, shoes, handbags and even wedding dresses on sale from £1.99 to £50.
By offering preloved clothes, they hope more people will start to realise that what sits unused in wardrobes everywhere will be loved by someone else.
Sam says: “This is about sustainability. We want to bring people’s attention to the fact that we waste so much.
“It is an absolute crime that clothes, and other stuff, goes to landfill.
“Everything we have in this shop is recycled. Our mannequins came from a shop that closed down and our till came from a florist.”
Recycle-Reuse-Relove is stocked with both donations and items Sam and Amanda have “hunted down”.
If they don’t think they can sell donated items, they give them to the Salvation Army on the town’s High Street.
Similarly, any expensive items the Salvation Army will struggle to sell, Amanda and Sam buy for their shop.
Recycle-Reuse-Relove also has a loyalty scheme where shoppers can collect stamps for donating clothes and buying items.
Amanda says: “People have been very, very generous in donating some extremely nice things, including handbags and shoes.
“The good stuff is out there, but you’ve got to go through a lot of rubbish – you’ve got to be prepared to put in the time.”
As Amanda and Sam have previously worked in charity shops, they continue to support them through their shop.
They collect money for and donate to the Salvation Army, the SSPCA and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.
The pair’s goal is to make Recycle-Reuse-Relove part of the community and encourage second-hand shopping.
Sam says: “This is about sustainability, recycling and falling in love with the item again.
“We want to create awareness so that it becomes the norm for people to shop preloved.
“People won’t think: ‘I’ve got to go to the High Street.’
“It becomes the norm to think: ‘That recycling shop, they’ve got great stuff’.”