Circularity and recycling

lounge area

“Few clients are aware that they can buy recycled furniture”

Recycling and reuse are a matter of course for Uppsala Vatten’s operations and this would be clearly visible at the new headquarters. Here, 100 employees work for sustainable living, clean water and smart cycles.

Indicum developed a plan early in the project to ensure that the project was implemented as sustainably as possible. The plan included a hierarchy in which reuse of existing furnishings; either in their existing or reconditioned condition, came first. Recycled furnishings would then be traded up and, as a last resort, new purchases would be made for those parts that could not be recycled.

Circular furniture flows, sustainability and reduced climate impact are difficult to achieve in practice as few clients are aware that it is actually possible to buy recycled furniture. This is a problem for both the sustainability aspect and the work of interior designers. There are now new framework agreements that will make it easier for interior designers to source reused furniture for public clients.

Simplifying and facilitating the process of prescribing and procuring recycled furnishings requires both an understanding of circular services by procuring entities and a change in the way interior designers work. But the new framework agreements will hopefully facilitate the process of prescribing and procuring recycled furnishings for us interior designers.

In addition to simplifying the procurement process, this sends an important message; many clients are not even aware of the possibility to buy recycled furniture. Now they are presented with a clear choice that puts reused furniture and circular services alongside new production.

Prescribing reclaimed furniture instead of newly produced furniture also means a change in the way we interior designers work: instead of primarily designing a vision for which we choose furniture, we need to start from the furniture that is available and adapt the vision to create a beautiful and functional whole. The time aspect then becomes more crucial because the reusable furniture that is available at the moment is not necessarily available several weeks later.

Read more about reuse projects at where our interior designer Therese Löwstedt is interviewed

“In the past, I have been met with resistance and uncertainty when I suggest to a client that they can buy recycled furniture. When it has not been possible to give clear answers to questions such as what it costs, how long the guarantee period is and what conditions apply, the answer is often no.”

Chair in close-up
Chair in close-up