A picture showing some of the items you can borrow from Islington's Library of Things

Islington Library of Things opens to encourage local people and businesses to sustainably reuse

Islington’s first Library of Things store, which helps local people save money and reduce waste by affordably renting household items, has opened.   

The council has joined forces with Library of Things and the Bright Sparks Reuse and Repair store to open the environmentally-friendly store, which encourages sustainable re-use by allowing residents and small businesses to rent out items like drills, carpet cleaners, sound systems and sewing machines for as little as a few pounds a day.    

As part of the council’s ongoing efforts to reduce waste and make the borough cleaner, greener and healthier, the store helps local people cut down on household clutter while ensuring that fewer items end up in landfill.    

Through the Library of Things website, local people will also be able to track the amount of waste and carbon emissions that they are saving by borrowing instead of buying.   

The store, which is grant funded through Islington’s Carbon Offset Fund, opened today (Tuesday, 2 November) at the Bright Sparks Reuse and Repair store on Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, and is welcoming customers.    

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re determined to create a cleaner, greener, healthier Islington that can tackle the climate emergency, and supporting residents and businesses to make better use of resources and reduce waste is key to achieving this.    

“There are plenty of household items that we only need to use once or twice – instead of buying them, and allowing them to gather dust or end up in landfill, why not borrow them from our Library of Things store? Doing so is considerably cheaper than buying, and protects the environment by cutting down on waste.    

“Recycling and re-using is crucial in combating climate change, and the Library of Things store is a really positive example of how sharing items can be cheaper and more convenient than buying, as well as supporting the environment.”     

Library of Things is a social enterprise, on a mission to make borrowing better than buying for local people, communities and the planet.    

They work in partnership with suppliers like Bosch, Kärcher and STIHL to help local communities access high quality products for a fraction of what it costs to buy them brand new.   

Emma Shaw, co-founder of Library of Things, said: “We’ve had lots of interest in Library of Things from Finsbury Park residents and organisations – so we’re excited that they’re now able to borrow quality items like Bosch drills, Kärcher pressure washers and STIHL hedge trimmers for a few pounds per day. 

“This is an important step for Library of Things, as we expand our work to create a community-led circular economy in neighbourhoods across London.” 

The Bright Sparks Reuse and Repair shop, which is run by social enterprise DigiBridge, brings small electric items back to life, repairing then selling them. It also collects unwanted household furniture, bric-a-brac and white goods, refurbishes, cleans and sells them at discounted prices to local residents   

Diye Wariebi, CEO of the Bright Sparks Reuse Project, said: “Since 2011, Bright Sparks has been committed to promoting reuse and repair whilst providing local residents with quality used household products at affordable prices.   

“This partnership with Islington Council and Library of Things, whilst helping to protect our environment through reduced consumption, will also save local Islington residents money at a time when many households are feeling the squeeze from rising prices.   

“This partnership is a big win for Islington residents.” 

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Access Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000