The Scottish Design Exchange
The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX) is a social enterprise in Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal shopping centre, set up to help artists and designers access popular retail space.
In the shop, fashion designers, artists, textile and jewellery designers, publishers, photographers, product manufacturers and others collaborate to share the financial burden of running a busy store.
The original idea in the summer of 2015 was to start a concept store to show how this idea could work, with the first six months considered a success. Not only did the store turn a profit for the designers and product manufacturers involved, but it also proved popular with the public, who were able to buy straight from the designers themselves.
Collective and commercial, SDX has brought together a diverse range of Scottish talent with everything from fashion designers to chocolatiers and furniture makers working to create a thriving store, where customers can buy locally made items, knowing that the manufacturers will be benefitting directly from their support.
The shop works with independent, Scotland-based fashion designers, and has attracted them directly from the graduate stage, and has shown them how to work within the retail environment, and hopes to move to the next stage, which would be micro-manufacturing of their work.
Providing a platform for emerging artists and designers to retail alongside major brands, SDX only charges a small administration fee, allowing the artists and designers to take home a large percentage of their profits from sales, helping to
support Scotland’s vibrant creative economy.
Peter Burnett, of SDX, spoke of why the social enterprise model is important to the initiative: "We set up the Scottish Design Exchange to cut out the middle men in business, and the social enterprise model fitted us well.
"Our model means that artists and designers keep 100% of their sales; also the collective power of having so many uniquely talented and creative people working in the same space, means that we can take on any High Street retailer.
"We are able to grow businesses where there were none, and encourage many different types of creative start ups. We can sell the work of other social enterprises such as GalGael, and MsMissMrs, and as a social enterprise keep our eye on the prize - which is the greater good of all.
"There is no reason why a business cannot provide a social good as well its service; likewise, there is no reason why if you are providing a social good, you shouldn't do so as a business that generates profits, employs staff, and runs its own social projects as a benefit."
For more information, contact:
Scottish Design Exchange
Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre
Tel: 0131 555 4513
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