Borrow Don't Buy!

From pressure washers to sewing machines, Plymouth's first Library Of Things will enable you to have more, but own less...

We did it!

On 11th Oct 2017 we successfully raised £11,109 of £7,420 target with 153 supporters in 35 days

New stretch target

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support! We’ve made it to our target. Borrow Don’t Buy is getting bigger and better. Now, we’d want to get CLOSER to you (but not..awkwardly close..normal close.. we like personal space too)

Our new and last stretch goal is £12,230. With £1,360 we will develope a unit to have a mobile Library of Things. Have a look at Edinburgh Tool Library - we love it - We’ve been inspired by them (this week is their 3rd year anniversary!)

We will be able to set up Plymouth’s First Library of Thing and run 12 Repair Cafes, 6 in THINQTANQ and 6 mobile. 

This is our last (we promise!) ask for help! Keep sharing the love


Thank you for your support! We have overreached our target. To our 153 Founding members, you are AWESOME!




Have you pledged already? (You are AWESOME!) Help us by sharing our campaign to make Plymouth's first Library of Things a reality.  

You can also get a GIFT CARD (pledge as much as you feel like) and give them access to everything they ever wanted!

Memberships will only be activated the first time that you borrow something. So if you're after a specific item you can wait until we get it for you (we aim to source everything our members need).




What is a Library Of Things?

A Library Of Things is a great way for you to have access to DIY tools, home improvement equipment and so much more - without the clutter and expense of buying and storing those things yourself.

It's an idea that is gaining popularity accross America, Canada and Europe. There are also five Libraries Of Things in the UK (Cardiff, Edinburgh, Frome, London and Totnes). With your help, we want to make Plymouth number six!

What will you do with the money?

When successful, the money raised from our campaign will go into one of three areas:

Fun stuff - At least 60% (around £4000) will go towards stocking our library with (in the majority) high quality, second hand items. We're doing this to promote the benefits of a circular economy and to keep our costs low. In turn, this means we can keep our carbon footprint low and make access to the library affordable for all.

And we won't be spending this money all in one go. We'll carefully invest in equipment over the next 12 months that we know to be popular - based on borrowing history and customer feedback.

Boring stuff - We'll need to spend at least 20% of the funds raised on things that will help to open and keep the library running. Things like rent, heating, water and lighting.

Sensible stuff - The remainder will be spent on catalouging around 150 existing items (plus the extra items we'll be adding to the library), maintaining our website and social media channels that will promote and manage the library and hosting the Repair Cafe events we hold throughout the year.

What is Borrow Don't Buy?

Borrow Don't Buy is a MESH Project. MESH is a Community Interest Company, based in Plymouth, dedicated to enabling lifelong learning by using the power of local experts.

Borrow Don't Buy will be a part of MESH and all the money made will be re-invested into the project and used to maintain the library and purchase new or replacement items as neccessary.

The Borrow Don't Buy team (Rob WickGarry Hunt, Marcus Shirley, Sol Moyano, Caroline Blackler, Ksenija Paksina and Betshy Marrugo) have been contacting other libraries, researching popular items and getting everything ready for the launch for the last six months.

Why am I so important?

Your support during our campaign will create the critical mass we need to make this project a reality.

This is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding campaign. If we don’t reach our target - WE DON'T GET ANYTHING.

Your pledge will be refunded by and we won’t be able to open the library. It's a risky move but it's the best way to prove we have your support.

This is a community project, and we want you to invest in us and in your community. This your chance to say YES, we want this in Plymouth!

What will I get?

Everyone that donates to our campaign will get membership to Borrow Don't Buy as well as an awesome 3D printed keyring - thanks to our friends at THINQTANQ.

And of course, as with all crowdfunding campaigns - the more you give... the more you get! Check out the list of rewards on this page.

How else can I help?

If you've already donated (thanks!) or can't donate right now, there are other ways for you to show your support.

TELL THE WORLD! - If you love our idea then please - tell your friends and family and anyone else you know. The more people that know about Borrow Don't Buy, the more donations we can get!

SHARING IS CARING - Crowdfunder suggests that every share on social media will raise around £20. So please share Borrow Don't Buy on your social media networks and help us reach our goal. A personal message will often lead to a donation!

TELL THE WORLD! (AGAIN) - If you're a keen writer or blogger then we'd love it if you wrote about our project. If you have any specific questions then you can get in touch via email

Once you've written something please make sure to share it with us and tag us online

@borrowdontbuy #borrowdontbuy #BDB

Hold on, I've got some more questions...

Don't panic, we've got you covered! Have a look at some of the questions (and media appearances) that we've compiled below:

  • How will Borrow Don’t Buy work?

Once you’ve joined, you will get access via the website to our inventory. You can reserve the items online, borrow them for a week, and return them the following Saturday. Totnes' Library of Things (ShareShed) is a great example of how Borrow Don't Buy will work, we love what they are doing!

We're a "not-for-profit" project, but that doesn't mean we are "for-loss" either. In order to make Borrow Don't Buy sustainable we will charge a small fee: between 50p - £10 per item per week (depending on the item). We'll ensure that Borrow Don't Buy is affordable and accesible for all.

  • Where will BDB be located?

Borrow Don’t Buy will be based in THINQTANQ (PL1 2AN) - The best co-working space in Plymouth, you should check it out.

  • What happens if we raise more money? (That’d be AWESOME!)

We will then have more funds to have everything you want us to stock for you! This is a collective effort we are orchestrating, the more members we have, the more things we’’ll have to share. 

  • What kind of items will you be lending?

We've got a catalogue of about 150 items already, and a wishlist of a few other things too. But we'd love to know what you would like in the library too! Let us know...

The following items are likely to be the type of items in the Library Of Things:

DIY TOOLS - Circular saws, Jig saws , Hand sanders, High quality drills, PAT testing kit, Safety glasses, telescopic ladder, full set of tools, extension reel.

HOBBY EQUIPMENT - Digital cameras and accessories (tripods), GoPro camera, PA system, Microphones, Karaoke machine, Kite, Metal detector, Bike repair tools and stand,  Bike trailer, Volleyball + net, Guitar + Bass and amplifier,  Sewing Machine.

CLEANING - Carpet cleaner, Pressure washer (high quality), Steam cleaner, Dehumidifier, Telescopic window cleaner, Hand hoover.

COOKING AND HOSTING - Barbecue (large, easily transportable), Warming/hot plates, Chocolate fountain.

GARDENING - Battery-powered strimmer, Rotavator , Hedge trimmer (cordless), Lawnmower (cordless), Garden hand tools.

ADVENTURING - Camp stove, Satnav, Tent, camp beds, Air matress, Air bed pump, Binoculars, Car tyre pump, Extension reel for camping, Roof box, Electric bikes.

Your question not answered? Drop us a message via email or social media:


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