London Design Festival: Sustainable Furniture
BlueGreen & Co. make good looking, sustainable, modern furniture with a twist. In addition to being good designers, they are also a social enterprise project. Working outside Edinburgh, the group was started up by two furniture designers who met with a furniture charity and had one of those moments of genius: take their unwanted furniture, recreate it into something new and work with low-skilled people in the production.
Furniture dumping is a big business in our throw-away society: even charities end up sending 15% of what they get to the landfill because it is in unacceptable shape. BlueGreen&Co.; take the broken down furniture acquired from donations from a charity and destined for landfill sites. They dismantle it and recreate new, contemporary pieces. And they work with unemployed, low-skilled people to teach them the tricks of the trade. The skill development starts at the most simple levels and then proceeds to more complicated techniques as the employees' skills progress.
Their name confirms their optimism: blue for blue sky thinking, green for sustainability, as well as the national colours of Scotland and Ireland, and co. because they work in the community. And what about the work. The "Vagabond" dresser won an award at last year's design festival. Each drawer is hand-crafted from different reclaimed woods, including brown oak, sycamore, walnut, birch plywood, chipboard, and pine. The drawer knobs are all found objects as well.
The Croc Roc can be used inside or out and is made of sustainable wood.
The Apprentice Lamp embodies their philosophy of training. It is made by trainees learning the traditional craft of wood turning on a lathe. The complexity of each section is dependent on the experience and ability of the trainee, increasing in difficulty as their skills improve. A great model for the future. :: BlueGreen&Co;
More on Social Enterprise Projects
:: Social Entrepreneurs Mean Business
:: Sneak Peek: Ryan Frank
:: London Design Festival
:: Village Underground