In March, creative agency Proud Robinson and freuds partnered with B Corporation to produce a pop-up shop with a difference in London. The shop opened its doors for one month with the aim of showcasing the UK’s B Corp community and the wonderful products they have to offer.
B Corps are businesses, verified by B Corporation’s ‘B Lab’, who have “high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability”. With an already socially- and environmentally-conscious team behind it, it was only natural that Event Cycle got involved with the project to ensure nothing went to waste.
Displaying the goods
Shelving is undoubtedly a crucial part of any shop, and there was plenty of it to display everything for sale. However, given the nature of this particular store, it wasn’t going to be needed long-term. The advantage of its central London location was that there were plenty of wonderful places nearby in need of extra storage!
A local charity shop, Sue Ryder Pimlico, was happy to accept the bulk of the shop’s shelving to use in their own space. Sue Ryder provide palliative, neurological and bereavement support and will be able to put the extra shelves to good use displaying stock.
Hampton Book Shop is another retailer making a difference: totally volunteer-run, they sell books in aid of local causes in south-west London. With plenty to go around, they also received some shelves to help them hold even more books!
Talking of reading material, we even managed to find a new home for the magazine rack used at the pop-up. Lambeth Library were keen to take it off our hands and be able to increase the amount of magazines available to read there.
All of these examples illustrate how furniture used at temporary events can have a long life afterwards and make a real difference in the community. Even something as specific as a magazine rack will have a use somewhere, and organisers donating these items after their event means that local nonprofits don’t have to fork out for new storage.
Your new life is calling…
…if you’re a quirky phone booth, that is! The pop-up had a really fun aesthetic, and a wall-mounted hotline phone (that connected callers to Proud Robinson for some free advice), was an integral part of that. Thankfully, Hampton Book Shop’s vision doesn’t end with doing good in the community - they also have big plans to add character to their space! The phone installation will be rehomed with them and provide a focal point for customers. With some imagination, it’s possible to save even the most unusual decor from landfill!
Making something new!
Once the shelves had been emptied and taken away, all that was left to redistribute was the wood used in the shop’s interior. As well as black wood-panelled walls, the pop-up had used wooden surrounds to create a cohesive look for their fridges and freezers. Though wood certainly biodegrades more quickly, and less harmfully, than man-made materials like plastic, that’s not to say disposal should be the first option for it. In this case, we got in touch with Useful Wood, a social enterprise that share our values when it comes to repurposing. Based in Woking, they collect used wood and make it into new, handcrafted objects. To make sure nothing goes to waste, they sell any usable wood they don’t have a use for - perfect for any DIY enthusiasts! If it’s too small or damaged for either of these options, it’s chipped and used to make biofuel. We wonder what the pop-up’s fittings will go on to be...