Acton is historically a low-income neighbourhood and home to some of the most deprived communities in London. As the population has grown, amenity, quantity and quality of the retail-, community- and cultural offer in the town centre has barely kept pace. One of Acton’s strengths is its’ diversity with nearly 65% of residents from an ethnic minority background.
Often communities come together over a common concern, interest or ambition. In Acton, it’s a practice of re-making and re-use that is bringing people together. The reuse, recycling and no waste market has been running on Acton Mount since 2021. An arts programme re-inventing discarded materials has resulted in a number of public artwork commissions with deep cultural significance. The Bollo Brook Youth Centre has been experimenting with re-made garments and the preloved fashion pop-up has become a regular fixture at the ActOne Cinema.
The Re-Store is a natural derivative of these endeavours, now with a permanent presence on Churchfield Road. Wedged between Sam’s Nails and Mystery Beauty, it is one of these places that acts as a window into the future – interestingly here – through the reinvention and the remaking of items from the past. At the re-store, retail is no longer about just buying stuff. Through regular public workshops and a school holiday program, creative director Kal di Paola conveys the skills of creative re-making, establishes a safe space for teenagers to meet whilst actively promoting the circular economy as an opportunity with creative, social and cultural significance.