Reusing what we already have is a huge step towards creating a more sustainable lifestyle. From repairing our clothes to fixing appliances, making things last as long as possible is key if we want to switch up our relationship with the planet.

Why? Because when we re-use instead of replace, we save all the energy and materials that would have been needed to re-manufacture new versions of the product, creating less waste of resources. And we also stop adding more and more to the everlasting waste pile on earth.

The good news is that, here in Penzance, there are a number of organisations working to help us do just that – and you can check them out right here.

GOFA (Good Old Furniture Available)

It’s not always cheaper to buy secondhand, but this local non-profit charity is changing that.

Aimed at people on low incomes, or who are particularly vulnerable, GOFA is working to recycle quality furniture, as well as unwanted household and garage items, to families in need across West Penwith and wider Cornwall.

The project is about helping those in need build a sense of worth, while stopping many items going to landfill and teaching people the importance of recycling.

Penwith Kids Clothesline

Started from a front room in Penzance, Penwith Kids Clothesline was launched via Facebook in a bid to tackle the growing problem of clothing waste.

And with more than 350,000 tonnes going to landfill each year, it was no doubt needed. Today, the group has more than 2,500 members, all swapping secondhand children’s clothing, toys and more (and it’s all totally free).

That makes it not only a great resource for families, regardless of income, but has also been instrumental in championing the local re-use ethos.

Repair Café

Penzance Repair Café is held at Redwing Gallery on the last Saturday of every month, with the aim of helping people to fix the things they already have.

And whether it’s mending old appliances to keep them going, or stitching up holes in clothing, the volunteers donate their time free of charge – so it won’t cost a penny to use the service (with the exception of new parts).

A great way to get that pesky blender fixed that’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard since the year 2000!

C.R.A.P. Penwith

Like Penwith Kids Clothesline, C.R.A.P. (Conserving Resources Associating People) is a Facebook group all about keeping unwanted items out of landfill and spreading the goodwill to people across Penzance and West Penwith.

Items shared must go to new homes totally free, so there’s no financial gain, and group members share anything from household items to clothes, furniture and more.

With almost 7,000 members, it’s a treasure hunter’s goldmine.

PackSwap PZ

PackSwap PZ is part of our Plastic Free Penzance project, which tackles plastic pollution and encourages people to live a more plastic-free lifestyle.

Two people holding lots of bubble wrap

The PackSwap initiative is an integral part of this, taking people’s second-hand plastic packaging and re-distributing it to businesses and people who can use it again for free to save money and reduce single-use plastic waste.

You can find us every Saturday (10.30am – 12pm) at the Golowan Festival offices on the Barbican, where you can get free bubblewrap, jiffy bags, air packs and more for your packing and posting needs.

Looking for more ways to support sustainability in Penzance? Head over to our sign-posting page to check out all of the amazing projects happening in our area.