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A rough guide to reuse

Almost anything can be reused or repurposed and benefits include avoiding landfill, reducing waste, and saving money. See more on the benefits reuse offers.

The Warp It redistribution system allows its members to swap or donate unwanted and unloved items, saving money, and diverting them from landfill. This includes electrical equipment, office furniture, soft furnishings, stationery, and other consumables such as and ink jet cartridges, uniforms and corporate workwear, lab equipment, and medical equipment.

It’s not just limited to this. Any resource can be reused if it’s safe and legal to do so. More unusual items reused through Warp It have included clothes horses, tuxedos, paper weights, and even a brandy bottle.

Here are our tips on how you can supplement your reuse activities at work and also introduce it other areas of your life.


Mend and repair

mend and repair

New isn’t always necessary or better.

Keeping what we already have, such as clothes, furniture, and electronic equipment functioning saves money and reduces the negative impact on the environment.

Mend clothing and repair boots, shoes, and bags whenever possible. Old clothes can be customised to give them a fresh lease of life, and it is certainly cheaper to re-heel shoes than replace. Corporate workwear and uniforms are often reused through Warp It and you can get advice on caring for, repairing and upcycling clothing here.

If you don’t have the time or skills to repair, see if there is a repair café near you or contact the manufacturer of the product and see if they offer a repair service.

Repurpose or upcycle


Think outside the box.

Before you chuck something away ask yourself if it could be re-purposed or upcycled. Old sheets and towels are great to use as cleaning rags, cans and plastic bottles can make great plant pots, and glass jars are incredibly versatile; they are great for storage, paint pots, and for preserves.

Wooden pallets can be repurposed into furniture, and even old bathtubs can be used as stylish planters in the garden.

Shred old newspapers to use for animal bedding, use packaging like foil and egg cartons for art and craft projects, and you can even use old tyres to make a tyre-swing.

Get creative ideas at sites like Pinterest and Instagram. The possibilities are endless.

Research before you buy


Always do your research before buying to ensure you buy reusable and repairable items.

This especially applies to electronic appliances and televisions, to determine which are the most energy efficient, durable and, if possible repairable. Make sure everyday items like utensils and tableware, cloth serviettes, sponges, and dish cloths are durable and can be washed and reused rather than thrown away after one use.

Avoid single use plastics and opt for refillable mugs, bottles, and other containers. Use rechargeable batteries and, of course, always take a reusable shopping bag to the supermarket and other stores.

Swap, share, borrow or rent

share swap

Set up a system with work colleagues, friends, family and neighbours to swap, share, borrow, or even rent out items that are infrequently used or were bought as a one off.

This could include books, CDs, DVDs, party decorations, formal wear, baby clothes, power tools, luggage, ladders, surplus stationery, audio-visual equipment, boats, and other outdoor equipment.

Check out our guide to hold a stationery amnesty to get started. You can also get ideas on running a declutter campaign here

Sell or donate 


Sell or donate your unwanted clothes and accessories, books and comics, toys and games, ornaments and working electrical appliances so somebody else can use them.

As the saying goes - one person's rubbish is another's treasure.

As well as Warp It, online resources include Freegle, Freecycle, Gumtree, and Ebay. You could also sell at a car boot, garage, or jumble sale or donate to a local charity shop. Read how the Warp It community helps charities; over £3.7 million worth of items unearthed in office clearances have been donated to charities and other not-for-profit organisations across the UK and abroad so far!

These are just a few ideas. Do you have any tips or experiences to share? Let us know!

Now read

Why reuse? The benefits of reusing. 

Five Warp It features to make reusing even easier.

Tips and tools to get reusing.

Don't bin the uniform; reuse it.

Putting unwanted stationery to good use is the ‘write’ idea.

Start reusing today and register with Warp It.

Read how to donate your surplus assets to charity on Warp It.

Here's another Warp It hack

Use our templates to save time and get ideas!

Free Download

Jennifer Clair Robson

Jennifer Clair Robson

Writing to make a difference because climate change, sustainability and the environment are issues close to my heart.


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