Love Essex Fund Success Stories

Refill shop.

Friday 1 December 2023

The Love Essex Fund has been running since October 2019. Find out more information about some of the projects that we have supported so far.

Seventh round of funding (October 2023)

  • Chelmsford Cloth Nappy Library is providing kits to encourage families to try cloth nappies. This positive switch can help to reduce their dependency on single use products and drive down household waste.
  • Broomgrove Infants School is setting up an Eco Club to help pupils understand their ecological impact. The club members will build their science awareness and complete exciting projects repurposing old items for reuse, such as worn-out wellies into planters and delivery pallets into bug hotels.
  • Ecolnes Refillery is reducing the amount of single use party items in its local community by offering hireable, reusable ‘party packs’ of plates, cups, cutlery, tablecloths and foil balloons. Providing reusable party packs will reduce single use waste.
  • Lower Bell Field Allotment Association is a newly established allotment site that uses second hand and waste materials. The association is planning to share their experiences and promote reuse, repair and growing and storing your own food through local community events.
  • Sunnymede Primary School PTA has launched a pre-loved school uniform reuse project. The scheme prevents garments going straight to landfill and helps parents’ pockets by offering a cheaper alternative to new uniforms. The PTA is planning to set up a pre-loved uniform hub to make it easier for parents to drop off and find items.
  • West Bergholt Parish Council intends to open a “share space” for used books and board games, as well as other infrequently used items. It also hopes to focus on bicycle repairs by arranging regular dates and provide a drop off point for unwanted bikes with the local charity, Re-Cycle.
  • Feering Falcons Youth Football Club is setting up a sportswear reuse activity in its local community encouraging residents to join a new scheme passing on football boots, kit and other sportswear. It will publicise the initiative with banners at the football ground and drop off points at local schools to encourage reuse.
  • King’s Ford Infants School and Nursery plans to expand its reuse efforts by organising a pre-loved book and toy exchange. This idea builds on their existing school uniform and coat exchange programme, which allows parents to donate or take away unwanted clothing for reuse.
  • Manningtree Repair Café aims to set up a monthly repair cafe to help residents learn repair skills, and to promote the reuse and repair of household items throughout the Tendring area.
  • The Bell Inn, Castle Hedingham is setting up a refill station, providing sustainably sourced washing up liquid, laundry detergent and other cleaning products. Pub customers refill their own containers, reducing the need for new plastic bottles and encouraging eco products.

Sixth round of funding (October 2022)

  • Cherish Furniture Restoration and Respray offers repair and restoration services for furniture and upholstery, so that local residents don't have to buy new items and can reuse existing ones
  • AlterEco Gift Wrap is a community sewing project in the Tendring area, applying creative, practical solutions to produce items from reclaimed fabric
  • SILO Zero Waste Maldon is a refill business that also has a party hire kit scheme
  • The Eco Festival 2023 in Colchester, a further edition of the successful event organised by en-form
  • ReVamp Boutique is home to creative upcyclers specialising in furniture - they also run reuse workshops
  • Chelmsford CVs have launched a Pre-Loved Prom initiative to keep clothes in use
  • Cornerstone Church Repair Cafe has been running for several years and has mended hundreds of items, including electronic gadgets, garden tools and pushbikes
  • Every Child Online relies on public donations of computer equipment in its charitable aims to provide disadvantaged children with digital access
  • Chelmsford Growbaby Project redistributes pre-loved clothing to families in need
  • Laindon School Uniform Bank is a project that has redistributed over 22,000 items of pre-loved school uniform to the local community

Fifth round of funding (February 2022)

Fourth round of funding (March 2021):

  • Uttlesford Children’s Clothing Bank takes donations of preloved clothes and shoes and redistributes them to families in need
  • Precious Bundles is a Colchester-based project collecting second-hand clothes, accessories and equipment for children and donating them to families in need
  • Uniform Swap Shop & Costume Hire is a project in which parents donate old school uniforms which is then sold to people who need it. This will be expanded to hire out costumes to families
  • Friends of Glebe Preloved Uniforms will promote the reuse of school uniforms by offering a ‘preloved uniform’ facility
  • Pitsea School Uniform Bank is a project which gathers unwanted and unneeded uniforms and passes them on to families who need them for free
  • 3FOOD4U is a project which collects unwanted clothes, toys and household items and redistributes them to people in need
  • Brentwood Cloth Nappy Library is a nappy library bridging the gap between the Epping Forest and Chelmsford nappy libraries
  • Ecobaba is an online eco store selling cloth nappies, sustainable toys and household items. The funding will be used to set up a small community-based shop in Danbury called The Eco Cabin
  • Basildon Cloth Nappy Library which is in need of a revamp and improvements
  • The Cloth Nappy Maker is a project to create make-your-own nappy kits for people who are interested in making their own reusable nappies
  • Life in Eco is a zero-waste refillery and eco-friendly shop, selling dried food without packaging in West Mersea
  • NicEco is a local refill service in Billericay offering eco cleaning supplies
  • Home Kitchen Eco is a zero-waste refill shop based in Colchester focused on reducing packaging. Specifically, this project will target the huge waste in packaging from tetra packs used in plant-based milks
  • Tetra Pak Recycling Initiative involves Ingatestone and Fryerning Parish Council sourcing and providing its own Tetra Pak recycling
  • Danbury Revs Up Recycling is a collaboration between the Danbury Society, the parish council and Danbury Revs Up Recycling to initiate crisp packet recycling in the village through TerraCycle
  • Essex Eco Party Packs involves the hire of eco party packs across Essex which include reusable plates, bowls, cups and serving items
  • Krafty Kella Craft Workshops is a project running craft workshops using mainly recycled fabrics to create home and garden décor

Third round of funding (October 2020):

  • A bike is not just for Christmas - A day event promoting reuse by providing second-hand affordable children’s bikes and accessories, as well as providing free bike repairs
  • The Hippyish Family - A project reusing unwanted fabrics to make eye-catching reusable gift wrap and party bunting
  • Southend Refills - An expansion of the existing Southend Refills delivery service of cleaning and personal care products in refillable containers
  • Tendring Primary Recycle Scheme - An expansion of the existing project which uses the TerraCycle scheme to engage households and increase recycling
  • Eco Colne & Halstead Community Refill Shop - A refill station in Earls Colne aiming to reduce plastic-use within the villages
  • Eco Rose - A refill shop in Matching Tye providing eco-friendly toiletries and household items
  • Clothing Waste Prevention Project - This scheme aims to tackle clothing waste by creating and selling upcycled clothing
  • Plastic Free Feering - A local volunteer-led community group working to raise awareness of the impact of plastic on the environment and remove single-use plastics from homes, community groups, schools and businesses

Second round of funding (February 2020):

  • An Ethical Life - Sustainable workshops held at the ‘An Ethical Life’ shop in Brightlingsea, showing people how to repair their clothes, crochet and knit reusable items and learn to make their own beauty products
  • UnSealed - A packaging-free refill store in Clacton-on-Sea selling loose food, oils and household cleaning products
  • The Repair Hub - A community project based within Springfield Baptist Church in Chelmsford aiming to teach repairing and recycling skills for household electrical items
  • Halstead Eco Party Kit Hire - A business based in Halstead which offers a party kit hire box with enough place settings and serving ware for 30 people
  • The Sustainability Store - Soon to be a zero-waste shop based in Rayleigh helping to promote a reduction in waste
  • Colchester Food Coop - A members’ co-op in which members can buy dry food staples and cleaning products with zero packaging, currently based in garage
  • Eco Festival Colchester 2021 - An event run by en-Form taking place at Castle Park, Colchester, promoting sustainable lifestyles and focusing on low-impact living
  • Refill - A project promoting the Refill Colchester scheme to the public

First round of funding (October 2019):

  • BabyStuff Braintree - An expansion of the existing store, providing enough storage space for the second-hand baby clothes and donated items 
  • Castle Hedingham - A parish council creating a community garden with composting facilities
  • Chelmsford Nappy Library - An expansion of the existing Chelmsford Cloth Nappy Library into Notley and Braintree 
  • Eco Colnes and Halstead - An eco-group seeking to raise awareness of their group and activities
  • Eco Essex - An eco-group that also wishes to raise awareness about their group and activities
  • SILO - A zero-waste store seeking funding for promotional purposes
  • South Woodham Ferrers Nappy Library - The creation of a cloth nappy library in South Woodham Ferrers
  • Tub: Refillables - A plastic-free grocery delivery service based in Saffron Walden, with a pop-up zero-waste shop

And many more!

If you want to read more, please head to our Love Essex Fund page.