A new way to get wonky in Leeds

Revive: to restore to life or consciousness; to give new strength or energy to.

Did you know that the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food each year, much of which is perfectly fine to eat? Recently launched through Enactus, Re-Vive Leeds is a student-created social enterprise looking to tackle issues of sustainability, while empowering students to make a difference in their everyday lives. At a time when the spectre of food banks has become a reality for so many in the UK, and student purse-strings are as tight as ever, Re-Vive are offering a wide variety of both dry and fresh produce on a pay-as-you-feel basis. Through partnership with our suppliers at TRJFP (The Real Junk Food Project), we are breathing a second life into food deemed unsellable by supermarkets, from within the Union Marketplace.

Be it a carrot deemed too ‘wonky’ for the shelves at Morrisons, or a rogue can of Coca Cola broken free from its multipack, the idea that either of these should be destined for the bin is problematic. At Re-Vive, we are offering students the opportunity to aid the reduction of our environmental footprint. This is being done through a number of initiatives being ran from our stall in the Union.

Alongside the produce on offer each week we hold a ‘Swap Box’. From the can of butter beans that’s been relegated to the deepest depths of your kitchen cupboard, to the bar of chocolate that’s been shunned as part of your ‘dechox’, all are welcome in the Swap Box. In return, customers are offered the opportunity to choose a food item more attractive to their taste buds.

In collobaration with TRJFP, the stall also acts as a collection point for Freegan boxes. The concept of freeganism is central to the foundations of TRJFP and, as part of their work, they offer a subscription service whereby paying £5 you’ll receive a food box designed to feed two for a week. At Re-Vive’s launch, we held a competition to ‘guess the value of the [freegan] box.’ With the winning guess being spot on at £22.74, it’s clear that the boxes are not only great for the environment but also great value for money. 

Furthermore, the charitable aspects of the Re-Vive project are not to be overlooked. Ran as an entirely not-for-profit enterprise, all donations received as part of the pay-as-you-feel initiative are redirected to local charitable causes, such as Fuel For School, and the Leeds Street Outreach team. Through the Re-Vive project, we are not only reducing food waste, but also assisting those most vulnerable in society.

If you want to get involved, or are just interested in finding out more about what we do and what we’re about then don’t hesitate to come and say hello. We are located in the Union Marketplace (next to Common Ground) on Tuesdays from 9am-5pm and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively head over to our Facebook page at Enactus Revive Leeds and hit up our inbox.


Mary Lumley, Will Chatters