Another popular discussion at Make:Shift was the Upcycled Furniture Enterprise – developing a sustainable co-operative business that would benefit the environment.
Here Elliot Lord, the champion for this idea, tells us more …
“This is an idea that I put forward at Make:Shift 2013. It is where we would have a cooperative business to make new items of furniture out of materials that are thrown away in great quantities.
What we need:
Local designers and makers with the skills to lead such a venture.
The materials to make new items with and tools
A large unit like a warehouse so that it could operate on a large scale.
In terms of the people, I am certain it would not be difficult to find designers and makers in this city. Those people would work as a cooperative so that there is no hierarchy but each person is of an equal status where they have a equal say in the decisions made. This reflects the social value of what I would like to help develop – it follows the principles of doing things the way we would like them to be done. Each partner should share in the successes of the business as this brings the motivation to make sure it is doing well. The already skilled workers should also train people as apprentices. We got ideas from the people who attended the session that included helping the homeless, those with disabilities, youths, students, refugees, etc. This would help raise the profile of this venture if the public see it as having a real value in society. It could also be registered as a charity or a Community Interest Company, the first of which would help reduce the business rates owed. There is already a similar venture in London, The Living Furniture Project which has apprenticeships for the homeless and could be linked with for guidance to set up one in Wolverhampton.”