A new report released today (15 September) at the 2015 RWM with CIWM Exhibition by the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) reveals 78,000 quality, reusable items supplied by the FRN take-back schemes went to people living in poverty in the UK during 2014/15.
The report illustrates impacts from a selection of partnerships with major retailers through the FRN take-back scheme, the impact of more than 20 FRN managed commercial partnerships and the overall impact of the re-use sector in the UK.
Through national partnerships with major furniture and electrical equipment retailers, the FRN national team has spearheaded successful take-back schemes that put the circular economy into action and ensure poverty alleviation for the excluded customer is recognised as a driver for change.
Craig Anderson, FRN – “Through our FRN take-back schemes we have found corporate retailers looking to reduce their waste and have married this with the re-use sector’s growing demands of meeting the needs of their communities”
The following figures are examples of individual achievements from a selection of commercial FRN take-back schemes.
- 2,818 sofas provided by IKEA in the past year, saved households £845,400
- Over 12,000 low income households were helped as a result of the re-use and repair of electrical items and WEEE products from DixonsCarphone and DHL Envirosolutions take-back appliances.
- 254 tonnes of furniture collected from the John Lewis FRN take-back scheme in 2014 prevented over 125 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
The FRN take-back scheme started four years ago out of the increasing demand for reuse charities to fulfil their charitable aims in meeting the need for quality reused household items for those living in poverty.
Craig Anderson, FRN CEO says: “We need to connect and direct the vision and ideas of the theorists to the reality of the actions of practitioners in local communities. Through our FRN take-back schemes we have found corporate retailers looking to reduce their waste and have married this with the re-use sector’s growing demands of meeting the needs of their communities.
“The social, economic and environmental impacts brought about by the FRN take-back schemes are proof of our sector’s importance in achieving a circular economy in our society today.”
Stephen Cawley, head of sustainability and Responsible Sourcing at John Lewis says: “Our local FRN member charity partners are doing fantastic work nationwide to help families access much needed furniture and John Lewis enjoys the excellent working relationships we have with the charities. We feel proud to be part of such a great scheme, which offers invaluable opportunities within our communities and supports John Lewis’s ambition to divert waste from landfill.”
Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability at IKEA or the UK and Ireland: “At IKEA, we know our customers want to live more sustainably at home, and we believe that they should not have to spend more money or time doing so. This is why our partnership with FRN (the Furniture Re-use Network) is so vital in achieving our aim to help reduce waste at home.”
To ensure a professional service from the charity and quality assurance to the commercial partners involved, the FRN members working on the FRN take-back schemes are required to undertake and pass a rigorous FRN audit. This guarantees a relationship that supports both parties involved in the FRN take-back schemes.