The Borrow Shop - a library of things

by Sophie Watson in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 30th April 2021 we successfully raised £8,430 with 126 supporters in 28 days

Help us to set up a social enterprise library of things in Birmingham! A place to borrow items, grab a coffee and buy sustainable homewares.

by Sophie Watson in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

Hey, I'm Sophie!

After living in the Jewellery Quarter (Birmingham) for four years, I'm setting up The Borrow Shop: a social enterprise library of things.

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What's a library of things?

Imagine a world where you had access to a range of high quality items, but you didn't have to buy outright, store, and fix or upgrade them... that is what The Borrow Shop is. Think steam cleaners, power tools, fold-up chairs and extra crockery for those post-covid dinner parties, sturdy crates for moving home... the possibilities are endless. You can check out the items we'll likely have at theborrowshop.co.uk - there's also a form where you can suggest items.

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In addition to a library of things, The Borrow Shop will also be a place to grab a coffee and we'll sell a small selection of curated sustainable homeware items you wouldn't borrow (think candles and prints)! This enables us to support and showcase local makers. We have a strong emphasis on community and hope it to be a great space for people to meet as well as borrow.

Why is this important?

In 2019, England alone produced 23 million tonnes of household waste. In addition, the UK produces the 2nd highest amount of electrical waste in the world! This is simply unsustainable for our planet and we must do better.

landfill site

Think about it, remember the last time you bought that fancy appliance you promised yourself you'd use? The stand mixer you made one cake with; the steam cleaner you use for 30 minutes a year; the ladder that drives you up the wall to store (I'm sorry). I know because I've been there.  

A lot of energy and resources go into making these items and many of them end up only being used a handful of times. The average drill is only used for 12 minutes in its entire lifetime! The Borrow Shop will allow you to have access to many items, whilst allowing the items to be used many times!

How will it benefit you?

There are three main ways having access to a library of things will benefit you, allowing you to focus on the good stuff in life.

  • Save you money - borrowing will cost you far less than buying items outright. We'll also take care of repairs and upgrades. If you were to buy a quality steam cleaner it would cost you approximately £200. If you borrowed from us instead, you'd need to borrow that steam cleaner on 13 separate occasions to reach £200!
  • Save you time - we'll do all the leg work in researching the best items for our community and sort out all repairs of the items! You can focus on doing things you actually care about.
  • Save you space - if you live in the JQ, you know as well as I that space is limited in small apartments! You'll have access to a wide range of items without having to find the extra space to keep them.

Borrow rate examples vs buying outright

These are examples of the costs you can expect to pay to borrow items from The Borrow Shop (subject to change). Hires for more than 24 hours will receive a discounted daily rate.

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How do you borrow items?

There will be three simple steps for accessing items at The Borrow Shop:

  • Join as a Member to allow you to borrow. This will usually cost £20 per year, and you can nab a membership now as it's is included in some of our rewards. Membership will also give you access to an exclusive Members Facebook Group.
  • Browse and reserve items online. You can book out that projector you need for a sporting event party 3 months in advance if you want! Payment options will include a daily and a weekly rate.
  • Collect and enjoy - just be sure to return them in the same condition by the time you indicated when booking.

What's a social enterprise?

Social enterprises make a profit, but use a portion of those profits for good. This model allows a business to be self sufficient, whilst having a strong environmental and/or social mission.

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There are two main ways The Borrow Shop will achieve this:

  • Reduce items going to landfill by offering the borrowing service.
  • A total of 50% of our profits will be reinvested into the business to further our positive social and environmental impact, and donated to local Birmingham charities and organisations providing a positive environmental/social impact.

Why is this a crowdfunding campaign?

To be blunt, setting up The Borrow Shop is going to cost a lot of money! Money raised through this campaign will pay for The Borrow Shop set-up, legal fees to establish our Borrower T&Cs (complex due to the nature of the business), purchase the items for borrowing, and cover our crowdfunder fees and rewards on offer.

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The Borrow Shop has had no external funding support and will be funded entirely using a combination of this crowdfunder campaign and personal savings.

How can you help?

This is an all or nothing campaign, if the target isn't reached The Borrow Shop won't receive a penny. If you are able to make a donation we'd be extremely grateful! There are a range of rewards on offer to say a big thank you! To use Crowdfunder, we have to pay a fee on donations, plus we need to factor in the cost of the rewards on offer.

We know the last year or so has been more tough than usual on many people and so if you're unable to donate, but believe in The Borrow Shop, please spread the word on social media and with friends, family, and colleagues in Birmingham! Spreading the word far and wide is crucial to this campaign being a success.

Rewards

We have 8 reward options on offer. All must be claimed in store within 6 months of us opening, apart from the Wall of Fame Sponsor option where we'll be in contact with you.

Thank you! - £6

  • Hot drink of your choice once we open.

Brum Print and Hot Drink - £13

  • Hot drink
  • A5 Hannah Parkes Brum print

Half Price Membership and Branded Tote Bag - £26

  • 50% off membership fee
  • Branded tote bag

Membership, Brum Print, and Branded Tote Bag - £45 (50 available)

  • One year membership
  • A5 Hannah Parkes Brum print
  • Branded tote bag

The Borrow Shop Special - £75 (25 available)

  • One year membership
  • A5 Hannah Parkes Brum print
  • Branded tote bag
  • £5 borrow credit x2 (only one voucher to be used per borrow)
  • Hot drink

You Plus One - £110 (25 available)

  • One year membership x2 (one for a friend!)
  • A5 Hannah Parkes Brum print
  • Branded tote bag
  • £5 borrow credit x4 (only one voucher to be used per borrow)
  • Hot drink x2

VIP Borrower - £200 (10 available)

  • Lifetime membership
  • Lifetime 10% off borrows
  • One week VIP early access to borrowing system before official opening
  • A5 Hannah Parkes Brum print
  • Branded tote bag

Wall of Fame Sponsor - £1,000 (3 available)

  • Your business will be listed on our website as a founding sponsor
  • Social media shoutouts
  • Public thank you in our newsletter for being a founding sponsor
  • One year membership x10 (for your employees!)
  • 10% of all borrows for one year x10
  • Branded tote bag x10

Hannah Parkes A5 prints

We've teamed up with Brum based artist Hannah Parkes! You can get one of her A5 Brum themed prints as part of our reward options. The BT Tower print is my personal fave! You can find all things Hannah Parkes over on her website.

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Library of Birmingham, BT Tower, Bullring, Rotunda, and Alpha Tower.


The Borrow Shop Tote Bag

We have branded tote bags! In keeping with The Borrow Shop ethos, these are made from recycled cotton.

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Staying in the loop

Whilst we'll be updating this page throughout the campaign, you can also keep up to date by following The Borrow Shop on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and signing up to our newsletter. Thank you!

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£45 or more

21 of 50 claimed

Membership, Brum Print, and Branded Tote Bag

One year membership, Hannah Parkes A5 Brum print, and a branded tote bag.

£6 or more

Thank you!

Hot drink of your choice once we open.

£7 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Cocktail Set Hire

10% off the usual price of a cocktail set hire for 24 hours - usually £8. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£7 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Bike Trailer Hire

10% off the usual price of bike trailer hire for 24 hours - usually £8. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£8 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Portable Speaker Hire

10% off the usual price of portable speaker hire for 24 hours. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£8 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Sewing Machine Hire

10% off the usual price of sewing machine hire for 24 hours - usually £9. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£8 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Pasta Machine Hire

10% off the usual price of pasta machine hire for 24 hours - usually £9. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£9 or more

0 of 3 claimed

BBQ Hire

10% off the usual price of a BBQ for 24 hours - usually £10. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£10 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Power Washer Hire

10% off the usual price of a power washer hire for 24 hours - usually £12. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£13 or more

Brum Print and Hot Drink

Hot drink of your choice and a Hannah Parkes A5 Brum Print.

£14 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Steam Cleaner Hire

10% off the usual price of a steam cleaner hire for 24 hours - usually £16. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£18 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Projector Hire

10% off the usual price of a projector hire for 24 hours - usually £20. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£21 or more

1 of 3 claimed

Carpet Cleaner Hire

10% off the usual price of a carpet cleaner hire for 24 hours - usually £24. We'll be in contact closer to when we open to book your chosen date. Please note you'll also need to purchase a membership if you don't already have one when you collect.

£26 or more

Half Price Membership and Branded Tote Bag

50% off membership fee for first year and a branded tote bag.

£75 or more

4 of 25 claimed

The Borrow Shop Special

One year membership, Hannah Parkes A5 Brum print, branded tote bag, £5 borrow credit x2, and a hot drink.

£110 or more

2 of 25 claimed

You Plus One

One year membership x2 (one for a friend!), Hannah Parkes A5 Brum print, branded tote bag, £5 borrow credit x4, and hot drink x2.

£200 or more

2 of 10 claimed

VIP Borrower

Free lifetime membership, lifetime 10% off all borrows, one week VIP early access to borrowing system before official opening, Hannah Parkes A5 Brum print, and branded tote bag.

£1,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Wall of Fame Sponsorship

Your business can become a founding sponsor of The Borrow Shop! You'll be listed on our website as founding sponsor, receive social media shoutouts, free membership for one year x10, 10% of all borrows for one year x10, branded tote bags x10.

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