Digitalising the supply chain for second-hand furniture
In Europe, 42 million pieces of office furniture are sent to landfill or incinerated every year. Most companies have no sustainable way to reuse, repurpose or recycle their unused/unwanted office furniture…On the other hand, millions of recipients are poorly equipped, especially schools, associations, small businesses, and teleworking employees.
This has a cost for companies (especially in terms of waste management and storage), but above all for the environment.
Relieve Furniture wants to digitalise the supply chain of second-hand furniture to build a more circular economy. To achieve this, Relieve Furniture connects donors (companies) with organisations in need of office equipment (schools, associations, small businesses and employees).
Relieve Furniture’s platform is free for everyone, but private and accessible only to corporate donors, and registered recipients (after verification).
In concrete terms, corporate donors start by listing their furniture on the marketplace with the support of Relieve Furniture. They then choose the beneficiaries to whom they want to offer the furniture, in order of priority (employees – associations and schools – startups – small businesses; with a differentiated price per type of beneficiary).
Beneficiaries are notified of new availability and purchase the equipment they need at a reduced price. They then turn up at the time and place mentioned in the order form and collect their furniture. Companies can receive a carbon footprint and ESG report to quantify the impact of their action.
Although Relieve Furniture was created in February 2022, they have more than 10 years of experience in Belgium and England: the activity was initially hosted by Hubu ASBL. In Belgium, 21,000 pieces of furniture were re-used (out of 25,000 put up for sale). The English market was also successfully tested in 2021: 400 objects were resold (out of 500).
Relieve Furniture’s activity contributes to Goal 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production” (12.5) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.