18 February, 2021

Many charities are facing unprecedented pressure on their income, with retail outlets closed and large-scale fundraising events on hold, even as needs increase sharply. Homelessness is a case in point – rates of homelessness are set to rise sharply as more people face economic hardship, just as rental protections and provisions for rough sleepers are withdrawn. Desperate times call for creative responses, and an initiative from homelessness charity Crisis is just that.  

Crisis trains its clients to restore and upcycle old ‘one of a kind’ pieces of furniture. Until now, these pieces have been sold in furniture stores, but Crisis is now putting together an end-to-end solution. It will work with interior designers kitting out shops, hotels and hospitality venues to source pieces, restore them to the customer’s specifications and then install them. It’s a win all round – Crisis gets a much-needed source of income, the customer gets unique and bespoke furniture, at a low cost, with real social impact, and Crisis’s clients are equipped with skills to help them find employment and transition out of homelessness.  

It’s not a great time to be a retailer, or a restaurant. But as we start to look forward to the gradual re-opening of the economy, we believe that those restaurants, hotels and shops that can put their values into action, and create unique environments that have real impact, will be the ones that consumers want to return to. And if you can’t wait for the time when you get to sit back on a beautifully upcycled, ethical sofa in a bar, martini in hand (and we certainly can’t), you can pick up items on the Crisis Furniture eBay shop while you wait.

By Claire Jost

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