Today (Friday 24th June) has been deemed National Upcycling Day by Gumtree who are eager to encourage the sharing, re-use and upcycling of furniture and other items. But for the Furniture Re-use Network members upcycing means so much more than a fun project to embark upon.
The FRN and Case Studies
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Telling your Story with Case Studies
Case Studies is such a dreary title isn't it? It sounds like a very technical document that could be the answer to insomnia... Which is the exact opposite to what it really is.
It’s 4 days since the Christmas floods hit Salford.
The River Irwell burst its banks, creating a beach of mud in some parts of the city, and leaving a four inch layer of it in over 400 nearby residential properties in Lower Broughton.
You couldn’t find a mop or cleaning materials for love nor money in Salford yesterday. Today, donations are flooding in (excuse the awful pun). Much of the mud outside has now gone, but there’s an odd brown/grey covering on everything from the ground up to about a foot high on walls, railings, houses and cars.
Bulky waste and re-use received some well-deserved airtime or rather, online time, via Lets Recycle’s webinar yesterday (9th Dec 2015) titled `Reuse: Challenges and Ambitions’.
The presentations raised some important issues and recommendations concerning bulky waste collection, reuse, disposal and the involvement of the third sector. But very little of the presented content about what local authorities can do was particularly new - FRN has been creating guidance, facilitating negotiations between local authorities, waste management companies and re-use organisations, and leading our sector for over 10 years in this particular area of re-use and bulky waste management.
The devil, as they say, is in the detail, and there will be much scrutiny of policy behind the Chancellor’s headline statements in today’s Autumn Statement.
There are a number of policy areas and departmental budget cuts which affect the charitable reuse sector, such as employment; business, innovation and skills, the environment, and we’ll have a much better understanding of the facts in coming days.
However, two key announcements stand out for the reuse sector this afternoon.
As necessity is the mother of invention, could the 'upcycling' of unwanted wardrobes into Japanese accommodation 'capsules' be the next big thing for housing associations and social enterprise development?
Many furniture re-use charities started up in the 1980s and early 1990s to address the needs of homeless people and families living in crisis, and to solve a growing public concern and frustration that good unwanted furniture had become increasingly difficult to donate to charity, and usually ended up in landfill. Agencies such as Women’s Refuge and the Salvation Army ceased taking furniture due to tightening regulations on second hand items, and limited capacity for growth.