Big Issue Vendor

Your RORA idea: “A re-use shop for every high street”

As part of our Ride Out Recession Alliance, Richard Lewis shares his vision for a sustainable way to tackle dwindling footfall and our fast fashion culture. We'd love to hear your own ideas. Get in touch at

Dear Big Issue,

My vision is for every high street to have a locally-sourced ‘re-use’ shop, with Government support to initiate. We may see a return to local shopping but many high streets were already run-down pre-pandemic.

We need a growth in re-use shops for everyone, as they tend to only open in wealthier suburbs. The features/benefits could be wide-ranging and address Covid-19, climate change and inequalities:

  • Providing employment and skills opportunities for staff
  • Delivering training to the public on sustainable topics such as bicycle maintenance and up-cycling — acting as a community hub for these type of activities and queries
  • Selling a range of affordable, locally-sourced products and gifts (appreciate subsidies would be needed), including fruit and vegetables
  • Many opportunities to reuse a range of packaging materials to reduce waste, including single-use plastics

I know not a big solution to the economic downturn but an option for the solutions ‘mix’. If we evaluated where Government subsidies are given, including the airline and motor car industries, I think it would score quite highly for sustainable and local development and whilst staying safe during Covid-19.

Best wishes to you all for your excellent ‘Ride Out Recession Alliance‘.

Thanks and regards,


Do you think Richard’s right with his vision of the future? Do you have your own big ideas on how we can prevent homelessness and protect jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic? Let us know at