FRN member Total Reuse CIC have just won the prestigious 2016 PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club Awards for Environmental Impact.
The team at Vision 21 are running a brilliant scheme that is breathing new life into broken bits and bobs. Launched earlier this year, by the environmentalist Jonathon Porrit and Cheltenham's MP Alex Chalk, the Repair Cafes have been an amazing success with hundreds of previously broken items given a new lease on life.
Emmaus Bristol Take on the Pop-Up
When Jess from Emmaus Bristol mentioned that they had opened a pop-up shop I (Bex Jones) immediately had a million and one questions about the whole venture so I sent a selection of questions her way (lucky for Jess - and you dear readers - I whittled them down to 6).
When toogoodtowaste were donated a mountain of duvets and pillows that they weren't able to sell or give away to people, they decided to put a message out on their social media channels. They asked their followers to share a post to anyone who might know an animal shelter that could benefit from using the items as bedding for their furry rescued friends.
Working in the Regions
In addition to holding Regional Re-use Meetings during the year, FRN has occasionally been called on to intervene and support members in a distinct region of the UK.
(Pics: Reviive Pallit (pallet) Furniture; Total Reuse Washing Machine Drum Table; FRN at the RWM)
We’re really excited to announce that two of the Furniture Re-use Network members will have their upcycled furniture displayed and used in the highly prominent go-to Viridor café at the RWM Exhibition at the NEC from 13 – 15 September.
This time next week, the FRN team will be shouting 're-use' from the rooftop at the RWM Exhibition and they will be accompanied by 'Lucky' the Sofa. Not just any sofa though, this sofa has a story to tell and she's not called Lucky for nothing...
JUST CALL ME LUCKY
(As told by Lucky to Martin from Total Reuse who wrote it all down - word for word)
Back in the '60s I was all the rage. Everyone wanted a sofa bed. We were the perfect solution for the people moving into high rise blocks of flats that were popping up in every town and city. They were small and cramped and didn’t offer much space for overnight visitors. But then along we came, sofa beds: sofa during the day and a bed at night.
So when does Corporate Social Responsibility become Corporate Social Irresponsibility?
I’ll try to answer that question later…
The Furniture Re-use Network Members Certificate Competition 2016
This year we asked members to take a photograph of their team. Their photo had to feature their FRN member’s certificate. We asked that these photos either represent the fantastic work that they do, or (or 'and') that they take it as an opportunity to celebrate their team of wonderful individuals. Their photo could be serious or silly, insightful or quirky, realistic or metaphorical. The winner gets one full delegate space at the FRN Annual Conference 2017 for FREE! winner to be announced tomorrow - Friday 5th August. Good luck!
I left the UK bound for New York as the sun rose on the day my country decided to leave the EU. After looking forward to this trip for so long, being very excited to talk to and visit re-use organisations in the USA; it all changed as I boarded that plane.
Furniture Re-use Network members Richmond Furniture Scheme has come up with the next big thing in the upcycling world - the Floordrobe!
"In the UK and Ireland, we're at the beginning of this journey, but the way that we've started is by working across our stores with the Furniture Re-use Network."
And the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) didn't quite conquer the category we were shortlisted for, but those of our members who were also up for an award absolutely stormed it!
Even though it is a time of uncertainty for us all, it would be remiss of us not to make some comment about this truly monumental decision, we’ve gathered some opinions and added a few of our own.
Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you...
Recently we've been going on a lot about the importance of you telling your organisation's story, creating a case study on an individual you have helped, getting your message out there, letting your your communities know the impact you have and what you do. But we know it can be an arduous and time consuming task, especially when you don't have time. So when Andy from Doncaster Refurnish sent through this collection of photographs taken by their photographer Graeme Oxby, I thought it would be a fantastic example of story-telling to share.
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
We have created a simple template for you to follow and fill in. Click here to access it.
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.
Is it time to forget about policy intervention bringing about the changes we are after? Should we be connecting and directing the vision and ideas of the think-tanks to the practitioners who are active in local communities and who are making a real difference on the ground to people’s lives? Why not let communities put the theory into practice? They are doing it already.
Austerity and Ambition for Society's Waste and Welfare
It is a few days since I presented at the Resourcing the Future conference in London and I am really quite motivated and inspired by what I heard there. For the first time since I’ve worked in this sector – I think the waste management, recycling and resources sector is having a reusable lightbulb moment, and are understanding the benefit of re-use for business as well as for the people that live in the society they serve.