There are numerous ways to donate, sell, find or buy second-hand items such as furniture or white goods in north London, which could really make a difference to someone else’s quality of life as well as reducing the amount of furniture that goes to waste every year.
Council reuse services
Contact your local council to see if it provides a furniture reuse collection service. If you live in Camden, Haringey, Islington or Waltham Forest, reuse shop Brightsparks will collect furniture to sell at affordable prices.
You can also take reusable furniture to one of north London’s reuse and recycling centres where they can be put aside and sold in our reuse shop, Second Time Around.
Social enterprises and charities
The Reuse Network directory shows where furniture reuse and recycling organisations are located.
Some charities will collect good quality reusable items for free, such as Sue Ryder and British Heart Foundation, which are then sold at affordable prices in their numerous outlets. Not all items of furniture can be re-sold by charity shops, so it is best to check before arranging a collection.
London Community Resource Network (LCRN) pioneers community-based solutions for waste prevention, recycling and reuse across the capital. It acts as a champion, catalyst and connector, helping grassroots charities and other organisations to engage with their local communities and involve them in reducing, re-using, recycling and re-distributing resources for maximum social, economic and environmental benefit.
Often, damaged furniture can be repaired, giving it a new lease of life. There are many free guides and videos online that can take you step by step through the process for repairing all sorts of furniture, from simple fixes to the bit more challenging. One option is Ifixit, an open-source and free repair guide for almost everything, so that you can teach yourself how to repair.
Why not go further, not just repairing your broken item, but making it better too? Upcycling takes unwanted or broken items and creatively turns them into new products of better quality and sustainable value. Each year, North London Waste Authority runs the London Upcycling Show, which showcases the best of London upcycling and repair.
There are numerous online options for passing on your unwanted furniture, such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Freecycle and Freegle help people give away and find stuff for free in their own towns and neighbourhoods, while private neighbourhood social network Nextdoor has a ‘free items’ section.
Know of any other furniture reuse or repair services? Please let us know and we’ll update this page.