The Furniture And Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988 As Amended How Restaurants Can Upcycle Old Furniture

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How Restaurants Can Upcycle Old Furniture

Upcycling is all the rage… in the home, or it seems. But, more and more businesses, including restaurants, are recognising that upcycling is cheaper, in some instances, than buying brand new items but it is also a way of tapping into a whole new consumer market.

But, before you assume that this means using lopsided sofas and wobbly tables in your restaurant that have seen better days, think again because you are thinking recycling rather than upcycling…

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is the process by which a waste item or useless product to someone else, is giving a new lease of life – for example, a table top with new legs added. Generally speaking, upcycling an item means creating something with added value. The term was first use back in 1994 but, with the introduction of a zero waste economy idea (where all waste has value to be used again in the same way or in a different format), there are companies across the world that are realising the benefits and the potential of using upcycled furniture.

But, what about safety?

In many cases, business in the past have been reluctant to use recycled or upcycled furniture; even second hand furniture has been frowned upon and this is down to the notion of safety.

On one hand, it needs to be considered but, on the other, it can sometimes be used as an excuse but, it is consideration. Let us lay your mind at rest…

With non-upholstered items, there are no real concerns. Many items that can be upcycled are done so with various component parts replaced. For example, the ‘wobbly table syndrome’ is no more with a selection of new legs and fittings.

Upholstered items can present a different challenge but, this is also widely recognised and so many upholstered, upcycled items will have had their stuffing and outer materials replaced so that they meet the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire safety) regulation 1988, including the amendments of 1989 and 1993.

Helping to save the planet – and your money…

Upcycling is not a fad; it is a process that has been around for many years, although it was slow to be picked up when Reiner Pilz first used the term back in the mid-1990s. He suggested that recycling was actually downcycling, where items are taken apart or smashed as he said. It was his notion of adding value to items, hence upcycling them, that many restaurants and other businesses are now taking note of.

Using it as a trading reputation

Of course, there is one thing about upcycling, recycling, environmental consciousness, organic produce etc. that can be used as a way of building a certain kind of reputation.

Your consumers are becoming more aware of how a company operates; values and ethics need to be more transparent, especially around how environmentally aware you are as a company, but also how you operate.

Upcycling furniture is a great way of achieving this!

Designed space

Upcycled furniture also helps you stand out as a restaurant that is unique, and different from all the others. You can achieve so many different looks with upcycled items and you can make them really stand out… or, blend them in. The choice with upcycled furniture is really down to you and how much of it you want to ‘advertise’.

Is it cheaper?

It can be, if you do it yourself. Searching out a house clearance company or making a visit to an auction house is one way of buying larger items of furniture that could be just perfect for your restaurant. Auctioneers will tell you that some of the large, more cumbersome items of furniture are hard to sell and so picking up a good quality table and sideboard can be a steal.

Sourcing new legs and feet online is also relatively simple, and there are many different styles and finishes to choose from. Once you have your bought items delivered, it takes only a small portion of time, a few tools and some skill to take off the rickety legs and replace them… along with any other parts or components you are replacing to give it a modern twist.

Or, buy ready-upcycled furniture

However there are companies out there who work with creative design and flair, recognising there is a niche in the market for creating this kind of furniture for restaurants, cafes and other businesses. But, don’t forget upcycling is about adding value so you may find that the purchases of these ‘readymade’ items are a little more expensive.

Upcycled furniture is perfect is so many ways; easy on the eye and the budget, they can give your restaurant interior a delightful and stunning look. What would you do?

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