Guest Author: Jessamy Cowie
After hosting a satellite event in Glasgow during COP26, creative experience agency Smyle were left with several items of furniture on their hands. As a business with a commitment to sustainability, the agency approached Event Cycle for help in finding the items new homes.
The items in question included two dining tables, four coffee tables, several stools and chairs, and an array of books, baskets, and ornaments, among others. Committed to keeping the donated items local, Event Cycle found three Glasgow-based charities and organisations in need of pieces of furniture to furnish their premises or the homes of families they support.
Two coffee tables, two rugs, and a selection of baskets found a new purpose as part of the set-up in Amma Birth Companions’ groupwork room, where they’ll help to create a comfortable environment for antenatal classes and peer support activities. The charity provides support and companionship to people experiencing hardship during pregnancy and early parenthood, and the extra items will aid the charity on its mission to make the space a safe, home-from-home setting for the families they support.
Glasgow The Caring City were able to take many of the other items, ranging from dining tables and chairs to vases and books, which have been used to extend their library space. Fittingly, the books donated were focused on design, product reuse and lifecycle extensions, and they’ve helped turn part of the library into a specific environmental education space - a great legacy from COP26!
In addition, GTCC kindly collected the items for the Amma Birth Companions, storing them until the charity could collect them. Because of this link, the charities have now begun working together: GTCC are starting a collection area for used prams and baby clothes to donate to Amma, as well as hosting a sponsored charity firewalk in the venue for the Amma team. Without the event, this relationship wouldn’t exist, which is another fantastic outcome of this success story!
Finally, St Francis Nursing Home also welcomed an umbrella stand and a space divider, providing a home for the remaining leftover items.
Furniture waste in the UK
According to a study by North London Waste Association, almost 22 million items of small furniture are discarded by UK households every year. And in 2018 alone, the British Heart Foundation stopped 74,000 tonnes of items in usable condition from ending up in landfill.
By finding new homes for these items, we can stop hundreds of thousands of tons of useful furniture from being wasted, and reduce the need for new items to be made and transported across the country, using masses of energy.
If you’re looking for ways to donate leftover event materials, whether bags or bulky items, get in touch with Event Cycle today to see how we can help.
NLWA, 2018. 22 Million Damaged Furniture Items And 11,000 Bust Bicycles Thrown Away Each Year. Available at: https://www.nlwa.gov.uk/news/22-million-damaged-furniture-items-and-11000-bust-bicycles-thrown-away-each-year
(Accessed 13 December 2021)
British Heart Foundation, 2019. A Third Of UK Adults Throw Away Furniture Which Could Be Recycled Or Reused. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2019/october/uk-adults-wasting-furniture
(Accessed 13 December 2021)