Edinburgh Tool Library
Edinburgh Tool Library, located in Scotland’s capital, was established as a charity in 2014. It is the UK’s first tool library. Inspired by a similar project in Toronto, Canada, Founder Chris Helawell recognised the opportunity to solve the problem of tools being expensive to access by individuals and when owned by multiple individuals being redundant for the majority of their life; plus, due to being made from multiple and composite materials, components and technologies are often difficult to dispose of responsibly. Chris often quotes the statistic that on average a power drill is used for only 6-20 minutes of its entire lifetime. The sharing library lends tools to members for maintenance and repair purposes, making it easy for individuals with limited financial resources to access, in turn reducing the environmental impact by maximising usage of the tools during their lifetimes, prolonged by professional maintenance, which in turn reduces the extraction of raw materials to make more products, and prevents often perfectly functioning products going to landfill. In addition to their members, as a registered charity, they have beneficiaries from a defined geographical area which includes distinct groups, such as women, older men with memory loss, refugees and young children. These groups have access to or benefit from the library of tools, workspace, skilled staff and volunteers.