Our Emmaus Bristol pop-up in the Reuse & Resource Department at Sparks Bristol sadly came to an end in January after eight fantastic months, to allow us to focus on our two Emmaus shops in Stokes Croft and Bedminster.

To celebrate our eight-month pop-up, we wanted to share some of our thanks and highlights from being part of the launch of an innovative, creative and sustainable department store in Bristol.

Saving items from landfill

Over eight months, we sold a total of 2,564 pre-loved items in Sparks Bristol, diverting 7,220 kilos from the waste stream. We can’t thank our donors and customers enough for helping us to achieve this!

You will still be able to shop with us and help to save items from the waste stream by visiting our shops in Stokes Croft and Bedminster.

Volunteer support

We were also able to provide work experience placements and volunteering hours to 34 people. A special thank you to our fabulous volunteers who continually showed up in all weather to support Emmaus and our companions with a smile and creative ideas for the shop. This includes Linda, Kalina, Emily, Will, Matt, James, Naomi, Niall, Clodagh and Amanda, as well as everyone who helped us coordinate our kilo sales and other events.

A huge thank you also goes to the whole team at Artspace Lifespace and Global Goals Centre, who supported us from day one, filled in staffing the shops, facilitated adjustments to help us stay open, and did all our volunteer recruitment for us.

Companion work experience

Our Sparks pop-up also allowed us to offer valuable work experience opportunities to our companions, who helped to run our section. Despite us closing in Sparks, companion Pawel will be staying on to volunteer in the department store:

“I am hoping to volunteer once a week for definite, possibly more. We have built really good friendships in Sparks and I love the guys there. I wanted to continue volunteering because I like the place, there are always new things to see and do, and I’ve made some new friends there.”

Pawel, companion at Emmaus Bristol

Welcoming community

Sparks was made an inclusive and welcoming community by the leadership team, the duty managers, and our neighbouring traders Marcie K Designs, Kooky Book Craft, Culla Collective, The Ethical Gift Shop, Clothemod, Global Goals Centre, Sustainable Hive, Stokes Croft China, Aphra Book Club, Baby Bank, Avon Wildlife Trust, Artspace Lifespace, No Small Thing, Busy V Bakery, and many more – we appreciate you all for playing a big part in our pop up and we wish you all the best for the continuation of your community building. A special thanks to Sustainable Hive for placing donation bins for Emmaus Bristol in schools!

Visit Sparks Bristol

Sparks Bristol has renewed its license until the end of 2025 and is a must-visit if you are in the area. Everything in Sparks is designed to help people take easy, money-saving actions on climate, equality and wellbeing. Its unique combination of artist spaces, sustainable retail, education and reuse is a world-first pilot and we are delighted to have been part of it. If you are visiting, we particularly recommend supporting the Vintage Fashion traders, Reuse & Resource traders, and The Repair Café.

Emmaus Bristol will still be helping with events at Sparks Bristol every so often, with the first being The Festival of Stories on Saturday 9 March from 11am to 6pm. This event will celebrate all things stories, with new and second-hand books, children’s storytelling, indie authors and illustrators, local crafters and storytellers, kids entertainment, workshops, and book swaps. Fancy dress is encouraged! Click here to find out more about the Festival of Stories.

You can still find a range of pre-loved furniture, clothing, household items and much more in our Stokes Croft and Bedminster shops, which are open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4:30pm (11am opening on Tuesdays).