Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

Bob The Builder, in case you didn't know
Bob The Builder, in case you didn’t know

If you have kids of a certain age, this phrase will be particularly familiar to you…and even if you don’t say it in Neil Morrissey’s voice, it’s an still an important message.  I recently had the pleasure of meeting some people who are making this mantra a reality, with a bundle of other benefits besides.

repair academy

The Repair Academy, based in Calne, Wiltshire, is a new enterprise dedicated to reducing the amount of waste headed for our already overstretched landfill sites, while at the same time providing skills for young people (like students of Wiltshire College and Youth Action Wiltshire).  The end products they create are then sold on to provide affordable goods for low income families – everything from washing machines to dining chairs.  What a win-win-win!  The main aims of the project are to:

  • Create social, economic and environmental value by transforming unwanted household products into desirable goods.
  • Support people in need by helping them gain skills for employment and life.
  • Change public opinion to make used and repaired items more attractive.
  • Foster an attitude of re-use and repair of materials.


Now, all four of those are pretty good aims to have, don’t you think?  But what lines up most closely with The Happy Chair Company are the last two – reusing, repairing, and showing the shopping world that those things are just as desirable (if not more so) than something brand new.  Because for all those vintage devotees, there are just as many high street addicts who would never dream of buying something ‘old’.  Let’s change their minds!

Having met Project Manager Doug (not Bob), I was delighted to be asked to get involved – already we’ve uncovered some great pieces that were heading for landfill.  And I’m happy to say that some Happy Chair Company fabrics will be gracing future upcycling projects…you can see what they’ve got up for sale on ebay or just see what they’re up to on Facebook.  They’re a friendly bunch, so get involved and support something brilliant!


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