Working with the Furniture Re-use Network and our members
The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) is the national body which supports, assists and develops charitable re-use organisations across the UK. We are the lead, the voice, the technical and business support and the product broker for re-use charities. At its core, the FRN, with the mandate from its members, works hard to marry its social and environmental missions. The FRN continues to represent its membership based on these guiding principles and strives to ensure that good quality, unwanted furniture and electrical equipment can be accessed and reused by those on low incomes.
A major challenge encountered by reuse charities to fulfil their charitable aims is meeting the need for quality reused household items. This is why we partner with retailers, suppliers, service providers and manufacturers in the UK to support our members in fulfilling their mission.
Every year*, our commercial partnerships:
- Supply 78,000 items through national contracts
- Help over 62,000 households in the UK
- Save low income families over £12 million in the UK
- Prevent 3,000 tonnes of products being wasted
- Save 3,800 tonnes of CO²
How reuse benefits corporate social responsibility
Different businesses have different reasons for operating take-back schemes; it may be legal, financial or ethical or, a mixture of all three. Much of the impetus for a business wanting to support local social concerns is down to their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) targets. What we find is that, for a CSR-based partnership with the third sector to work, it must mirror or match the business activities. Re-use offers costs savings and value to the customer; and key to this working is retailers wanting to see real social benefit, not just in the eyes of their customers but for their staff too.
Staff are increasingly motivated by their employers' social concerns. The tangible impact corporate social responsibility can have on their local community provides job satisfaction to staff members. In particular, the opportunities for staff to interact with their local reuse charities in the work place enhances their sense of involvement, thus encouraging a more positive work ethic.
The FRN take-back scheme is an FRN partnership between commercial retailers and the FRN re-use members which has proven to be one of the greatest successes the charity re-use sector has had working with the private sector. It has worked so well because not only have the commercial partners understood the social context and value involved in re-use, they've seen the opportunity for a service-based partnership that meets their business needs and comes with the bonus of adding value to their local communities and customers
Takeback Scheme Partners
Local Community Benefits from Donation of Brand New Mattresses by Major Retailer: http://www.frn.org.uk/news/361-local-community-benefits-from-donation-of-brand-new-mattresses-by-major-retailer.html
Corporate retailers partner with reuse charities to supply people living in poverty in the UK with quality, reusable items: http://www.frn.org.uk/news/345-press-release-corporate-retailers-partner-with-reuse-charities-to-supply-people-living-in-poverty-in-the-uk-with-quality-reusable-items.html
For more information on how you can get involved as a commercial partner, contact Lesley Wilcox, Head of Operations on 0117 954 3578 or