What is CAN?

CAN is a recycling and reuse tool that helps the arts combat the climate emergency. It gives you access to the materials you need for your creative projects by providing a place where materials and resources can be exchanged. CAN stands for Circular Arts Network and it is an online platform that supports a circular economy within the arts.*

CAN encourages reuse across all artforms and it works by connecting people and organisations to share materials, goods and services.  CAN partners with construction companies and connects them with those working in the creative industries. It makes the excess materials produced by construction companies available to creative people giving them good quality, reliable materials to access for free.

It’s basically a Gumtree but for the arts that enables users to find affordable (or FREE!) materials and resources in an easy and connected way.  CAN also facilitates the sharing of resources such as transportation, equipment, time, and other essentials. We believe that by doing so, users will be able to make the most of their time and resources.

The National Theatre of Scotland, National Galleries Scotland, Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh University are among 700+ users who have already contributed to CAN.

How does CAN work?

  • You can register here [hyperlink].
  • Once you’re registered you can start by making your own listing or by claiming an existing one.
  • Items are organised by the category you’ve tagged them with.
  • You can also make a listing in the wanted section for items that you are on the hunt for
  • Upload images to show your item
  • Put a price on your item or 0.00 if it is FREE

Where can you use CAN?

  • CAN is an online platform and can be used anywhere in the UK. You will see lots of listings from Glasgow, this is where CAN was launched and where a lot of our networks are, but we welcome users across the UK. Post a listing and tell your friends to do the same!

What is the Circular Economy?

  • The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended.

Who runs CAN?

  • CAN was developed and founded by Sculpture Placement Group, we’re an organisation specialising in arts and sustainability. CAN was founded with funding from Creative Scotland, Santander, SCAN, Awesome Foundation. It is currently funded by the Glasgow Guarantee and support from our Friends and donations from users. Kate Robertson is the Co-Director (info[at]canarts.org.uk) and Megan Williams is the Engagement Coordinator (megan[at]canarts.org.uk).

What sort of items can I list?

  • Listings are very varied and you can list anything you like. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!
  • When listing the item you can select the most relevant categories, if it doesnt fit with any of the categories, mark it as ‘Everything Else’.

Can I sell items?

  • Yes, you can list items for free or for sale. We take 5% commission on all sales.

Do you collect and store items?

  • We don’t offer a collection service at present, although we are developing partnerships with delivery partners so watch this space!
  • We offer short term storage solutions at our mini depots, currently in Edinburgh and Glasgow (see below)
  • Contact us if you have particular transport and storage needs and we’ll do what we can to help! (info[at]canarts.org.uk)

How can I be notified of new listings?

  • You can set up alerts via the CAN homepage or in category pages, use the green button that says ‘Create Alert’, you will receive an email when a new listing matching your criteria is posted.

I’m looking for a specific material. Is there a way I can ask the network?

  • Yes, you can create a ‘wanted’ listing by clicking the ‘add a listing’ button.

Working hours?

  • Our office hours are Wednesday – Fridays 9.30-5.30, but the platform runs 24/7.

What are Mini Depots?

A common problem that artists and creatives have is storage. During COP26 last year, CAN created a mini depot where people could drop off and collect supplies. For those that needed materials for marches to workshops, having a city centre location allowing access 24/7, while also having free materials is what made their first depot a success.

  • Can has a network of storage facilities we call Mini Depots, currently we have these facilities in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We are not insured for public liability for collecting items, or covered for theft or damage of items. Collection should be arranged in advance with CAN (info[at]canarts.org.uk).
  • Glasgow:
    • Axiom building on Washington street, G89AZ. (for small items only, stairs access)
  • Edinburgh:
    • Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Bill Scott Sculpture Centre, 21 Hawthornvale, Edinburgh, EH6 4JT
    • Currie House, Pentland Gait, Edinburgh, EH11 4HJ

Do I need to list an item if I am dropping it off inside the mini depot?

  • Yes, to keep track of materials and make them visible we encourage all users to list an item first on our website and in the ‘collection details’ box state that it is inside the mini depot.

If I am looking for timber or plywood, where can I find some if there is not any available on CAN?

  • CAN has a couple of construction companies as partners, you can get in touch with us and we will put you in touch with them directly to find out what material they have and arrange a collection time.

 I would like to offer a skill, service or time, how do I do this?

  • CAN welcomes listings from people who have services that may be of interest to CAN users – such as framers, technicians, drivers, designers, photographers etc. Please post a listing in the ‘Skills’ category. If you want to offer general time to creative projects you can do this in a ‘Time’ listing – or both.

Can I lend items on CAN?

  • Yes, just post a usual listing but put details of the conditions in the description, and list the price as a per week or per day charge, describing this price in listing description.