«We create a space for eco-conscious people» — Mykhailo Veklyn about the «RE:space» project, it’s educational initiatives and Urban Gardens - Promprylad. Renovation

«We create a space for eco-conscious people» — Mykhailo Veklyn about the «RE:space» project, it’s educational initiatives and Urban Gardens

«RE:space» is a space for eco-conscious people, which was launched at the same time as “Promprylad.Renovation” and now functions as its integral part. The project started with a few containers for separate solid waste collection on the pilot floor of Promprylad and an experiment to see if residents and guests would use them. The result made it clear that there was a demand and that the eco-initiative needed to be developed. Mykhailo Veklyn, the founder of the project, spoke about the “RE:space” initiatives and plans for the future.



As next step RE:space team started educating the residents of Promprylad and signed Green Office agreements with them (This is a waste management concept that aims to reduce the negative impact of the company’s activities on the environment). Residents and guests of the city were happy to visit the Re:laboratory, a newly created creative recycling workshop in the Parasolka makerspace, and create interesting products (wallets, souvenirs, eco-shoppers, etc.) from recycled materials with their own hands. The RE: Composting project involved 10 families from Ivano-Frankivsk and Prom Food in collecting organic waste. After composting them, fertile soil was obtained, which became the basis of the garden on the Promprylad terrace – the UrbanGreenGarden. 



Initially, the garden looked like an exhibition stand, but in a year, thanks to the initiative of visitors and funding from Teple Misto’s Small Grants, it was scaled up to an open-air educational space where people could take care of plants, socialize and learn more about eco-consciousness. Here weekly eco-oriented lectures, language courses, art and music classes were held free of charge by various schools. In winter, the project was transformed into “Fresh Greens” that grew microgreens and mushrooms, and the harvest from the project was consumed by the entire Promprylad. 


«In 2021, we realized that having gained extensive experience in project implementation, we could grow and have a positive impact on the environment. We had an established team and a sufficient circle of like-minded people to scale up and create a waste management infrastructure for the residents of Ivano-Frankivsk,” – says Mykhailo Veklyn, “So, in October we opened a public sorting station “RE:space” – an educational space aimed at being an example of environmental awareness, the concept of which is based on the principles of ZeroWaste 5R. (The hierarchy of waste management includes 5 steps/components: waste prevention, reuse, recycling, energy recovery and disposal)». 



After russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, RE:space suspended its services for 4 months, and the team was actively engaged in volunteer and humanitarian activities. 

«Every day we received a large number of requests to resume the work of the public sorting station. It was difficult for the team to make a positive decision due to several factors: the safety of visitors and whether the environmental component is relevant, whether it is morally right to raise these issues during the war. Thanks to active visitors and new team members, we were able to resume RE:space activities in July».


The first project after the restoration was the Solidarity Cafe, which aimed to unite residents and visitors. 


«Many people have learned about our initiative, and friendly relations have been established between visitors. Our goal is to create not only a space, but also to form an environment of like-minded people. The project “Take care of the environment. Sort” project is aimed at collecting Tetra Pak packaging. Due to russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it was not possible to deliver Tetra Pak to the plant in Kharkiv region and the collection was suspended. A partner was found in Rivne region to resume collecting packaging, but the issue of storage and reducing the volume of raw materials became urgent. For this, they needed loading and packaging equipment and a press.  As of today, team has already collected more than 7 cubic meters of recyclable materials».


Back in September 2021, RE:space applied for Biggggidea crowdfunding to raise 100 thousand hryvnias for equipment for the future educational space. Despite all the challenges, the amount was raised, and the International Renaissance Foundation doubled the funds raised. All the equipment has been purchased and is awaiting reconstruction of one of the buildings at the Promprylad innovation center to open in 2024.


«We have ambitious plans for 2023 – launching the Green Office project for legal entities. Today we work in the format of a social enterprise, transferring 80% of our net profit to the development and operation of our NGO Zero Waste Ivano-Frankivsk. That is why we are starting to establish cooperation with offices, cafes and IT companies. We plan to open a small coffee grounds processing shop on the territory of Promprylad, continue to develop the social enterprise, and resume the Solidarity Cafe and UrbanGreenGarden projects. To realize our plans, we are looking for financial support, new partners, and expanding our team of like-minded people.


When we decided to start our cooperation with the Promprylad.Renovation innovation center in the first days of its launch, we understood all the risks and difficulties that awaited us along the way. But at the same time, we could not miss this opportunity to realize our plans. We trust the Promprylad team, share common values, and strive to change Ivano-Frankivsk for the better.

Our project would not have been so holistic and elaborate if we had not encountered the progressive audience of Promprylad and the team of the innovation center, which inspires us with their activities and provides expert advice, sets high standards for the quality of services, which allows us to grow and improve. 

We care about Ivano-Frankivsk, where we live, love it very much, and strive to pass on a clean and cozy city to future generations. We want to live in a city with a well-established infrastructure that has emerged thanks to the cooperation of the community, business, and government. This is how we see the future, the future together with Promprylad».


Photo by Katya Akvarelna and Mykhailo Veklyn