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The Consumed Story

Inspired by our Consumed exhibition? Want to play YOUR part in a shift to a circular economy and not just help save the planet but also save some pennies?

What can I do?

Consumed is about empowerment. Consumers have the power to affect the behaviour of companies and governments; you have that power!

To help guide you, we have compiled a list of resources available in Scotland. If you don’t live here, then take inspiration from this list to see what is possible in your local area!

If you want to find out more about our own sustainable journey in creating the exhibition, scroll down to find out more.


Too Good To Go is an app where local shops can sell you older food products for a discounted price, helping you cut food waste with their surprise bags! 

Waste Not Want Not: From citrus peel to stale bread, there are lots of things you can make from food you would usually think is waste! 

Eat Seasonally: Want to eat in season? Food and Drink Scotland and Love British Food have handy guides for you!

Meat-free Mondays?: Interested in meat-free Mondays but don’t know where to start? Veganuary’s website has you covered

Get Educated: Education is one of our most powerful tools in the fight against food waste. If you are a teacher, you can download Zero Waste Scotland’s Food Waste Monitoring Kit for Schools

From Field to Fork: If you want to learn more about food, transport and carbon, Our World In Data, has loads of well-researched information


Get Inspired: Find out more about Petit Pli, Mama Moon Vintage and Chip[s] Board on their websites

Think Vintage: Vintage and second-hand sites are everywhere, including Depop, Vinted, and Oxfam Online

The Edinburgh Remakery has an amazing suite of workshops and a shop where you can buy refurbished tech and rent sewing machines!

Sew you can: Made to Sew have a series of online classes that show you the basics of sewing with a machine

Visible mending: Interested to see what visible mending looks like? Look no further!


Tooled Up: Edinburgh Tool Library was the first of its kind in the UK. If you want to join or just find out more about their workshops, check out their website! There are now more tool libraries across Scotland in places like Glasgow, Stirling and Crieff!

Play Time: Instead of buying new toys all the time, why not rent them? There are toy libraries across Scotland including right here in Edinburgh

Circular Scotland: The Circular Communities Scotland map tells you where you can buy all sorts of good second hand across the country


Your Carbon Pawprint: Want to make a positive impact by changing the way you travel? Pawprint can help you do that by monitoring your progress over days, weeks and months!

Energy Saving Tips: The Energy Saving Trust has ten ways you can save energy (and money) at home

Track your usage: Want to track your energy usage? Electric Choice have a handy list of apps that let you do just that


Building an exhibition without costing the Earth

When we were designing Consumed, we started by asking an important question: how could we make an exhibition on overconsumption without overconsuming ourselves? We thought hard about principles of the circular economy and came up with a few ideas.


Buying things second hand is one of the easiest ways to put the circular economy in action:

  • All the shipping containers are second hand! After the festival we can use them for a different exhibition or pass them on ourselves
  • We picked up local, pre-loved items wherever we could! We found the kitchen cabinets online, the fridge came from Balerno, the garage is stocked with gadgets from our warehouse and the Astroturf and lino were once part of another Festival workshop


There are some things we use every Festival, so we don’t have to buy new each time:

  • Our information panels are made from dibond, a brand of plastic sheet onto which we place our graphics. After each Festival, the graphics are removed, and the sheets stored for next year
  • You may recognise our photo cubes from our exhibitions at Portobello, as well as our introduction board stands from our event In Memoriam in 2021. See if you can spot them in 2023!


Reducing what we consume, especially if it is harmful to our planet, is a core message of Consumed:

  • Vinyl graphics are often made from PVC, one of the worst plastics due to the harmful toxins it releases. We work with a resourcefully minded, Edinburgh-based company MacKinnon-Slater who have a range of non-PVC and occasionally completely paper-based vinyl to complete our graphics

Pass it forward!

  • The items displayed in the food and fashion containers are made by exciting Scottish companies. The items that we can’t return will be passed forward after the Festival
  • There are a number of fun interactive elements in Consumed that we will use as standalone pieces in the future. Look out for the circular economy machine and the giant shirt in future Festivals!


  • By working with partners and designers in a thoughtful way, we can exchange ideas about how improve our practices moving forward
  • Overall, while we want to lead by example, we hope that the exhibition has an impact on the environment by promoting positive behavioural change!

We know we didn’t achieve everything we wanted to this time around, but with each new project we move a little further forward on the path to a healthier planet!