On 19 November 2017, as part of European Week for Waste Reduction 2017, 280 residents came along to our second London Upcycling Show, hosted with environmental charity, Groundwork London. The event was held at Walthamstow Assembly Hall in Waltham Forest. It involved upcycling demonstrations and workshops, and a range of organisations exhibiting upcycled items, including:
• Afro Retro - a fashion, craft and cultural fusion brand who demonstrated how to upcycle Christmas jumpers.
• Albert & Edward - a lighting upcycling scheme who gave demonstrations on how to create a light from something that has been salvaged.
• AM Florence - showcasing upcycled vintage and Italian pieces of furniture.
• Barnet Furniture Centre - a community furniture reuse scheme.
• Brass from the Past - a lighting upcycling scheme.
• Taylor Made With Love - an artisan furniture painter who upcycles pieces of furniture and ran a workshop on how to work with metallic foiling and stencilling on reclaimed materials.
• Forest Recycling Project - a community furniture reuse scheme.
• Groundwork London - a social and environmental regeneration charity. They demonstrated how to upcycle a coffee table.
• thinkFOUND Furniture - a furniture business based in East London that makes custom made tables from the waste product of scaffold boards
• Porterhouse Design - a furniture restoration and upholstery.
• Green Devil designs - a clothing, accessories and home décor upcycling scheme who demonstrated how to upcycle an abandoned toy using buttons, felt, and beads.
• Real Nappies for London - the London reusable nappy campaign.
• The Loops - The Repurpose project – reuse hubs from across London created to refurbish, upcycle and redistribute unwanted items.
• Thrifty's Retro - a furniture upcycling scheme.
• The Chair Man - a repair, upholster and restore dining room chairs.
• Uniq Furniture - this scheme refurbishes, upcycles and restyles furniture to its former glory and beyond.
• Nina's Chalk Pot - Luxurious Furniture Paint. They demonstrated how to upcycle furniture and other items using their own natural chalk paint.
• When I Decorate Things - they run a demonstration on how to decoupage small wooden items.
Attendees visiting upcycling stalls and workshops at the London Upcycling Show.
The show also featured an upcycling competition in which 25 north London residents took part and upcycled an item of unused furniture. Councillor Clyde Loakes (chair of NLWA and Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest council), Ben Coles (Director, Communities and Environmental Services at Groundwork London) and four judges announced one winner from each of the five categories: ‘armchair’, ‘bedside cabinet for children’, ‘side table’, ‘sideboard’ and ‘upright chair’, the overall winner and the 'People's Choice' winner. Each category winner received a £150 voucher to spend at a DIY store, the overall winner received a £100 voucher and the 'People's Choice' winner a £80 voucher. The competition also resulted in 0.5 tonnes of furniture being diverted from disposal.
Judges for this competition were:
- Georgina Burnett, a TV presenter, DIY, interior design and upcycling enthusiast who shares her knowledge and ideas through her blog and online channel The Home Genie. She has also written expert advice for The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, 25 Beautiful Homes and a number of other interiors magazines.
- Tommy Walsh a TV presenter, author and DIY expert who first came to the public’s attention on the hugely popular TV series Ground Force. He has since presented several TV shows including Tommy Walsh’s Eco House and Fix it yourself. Tommy's first book, DIY Survival, was in the UK's bestsellers list and he has since published a further 4 DIY project books.
- Chris Barrett, a Waltham Forest local, who was educated in design and with a career background in art and photography and set up the reclaimed wood furniture company, thinkFOUND furniture.
- Andy Dickson started out as a journalist and most recently was an editor for a cycling magazine. Andy has now set up craft upholsterer studio The Chair Man in Walthamstow. Almost all his furniture is bought locally from junk shops, second hand stalls, front gardens and recycled material from end of stock roll.
Top from left to right: Andy Dickson, Chris Barrett, Tommy Walsh and Georgina Burnett
The winners were as follows:
Sidetable: Lindsey Molyneux, from Camden
Bedside cabinet for children: Terry May, from Haringey
Armchair: Barnet Furniture Centre, community group from Barnet
Sideboard: Luke Newcombe, from Haringey
Upright chair: Camilla Tepasse, from Waltham Forest
The overall winner was Helen Westerby from Waltham Forest for her 'armchair' entry and the 'People's Choice' award was won by The Loop, a community group from Barnet for their 'sideboard’ entry and by Kids Adventure Play, a community group from Hackney for their ‘bedside cabinet' entry.
Finally, the event included an interactive live ‘Create’ upcycling challenge, attendees grouped together in two teams and converted pallet boards into functional items, a shelving unit with hooks and an upholstered footstall with storage on wheels.
Attendees participating at the upcycling challenge at the London Upcycling Show.