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Altruist Furnishings win Switched on Business Award

Local duo Nicole and Bryce Polmear are recycling for a reason and their business, Altruist Furnishings in Kelmscott, has received the Switched on Business Award in recognition of their green thinking.

Altruist Furnishings are challenging the community to re-think their relationship with furniture.

“Our goal is that no piece of furniture goes to landfill, ever, and that nobody has to go without the essential furniture they need,” said Nicole.

Using Bryce’s skills as a cabinet maker, the pair keep furniture alive by recreating old pieces with a new look.

Bryce and Nicole also salvage pieces that would otherwise be on their way to landfill.

“When we come across damaged melamine pieces left out for verge collection, we fix them up then donate to charity” said Bryce.

Zero waste

Altruist Furnishings was born when Nicole saw useable furniture left out for verge collection. 

“Our wasteful ways mean we are sending furniture to landfill while other people are looking for furniture” said Nicole.

As well as tackling waste in the community, Altruist Furnishings also reduce waste in their workshop. By reducing the use of new materials for their furniture restoration, they cut out packaging and avoid virgin materials. Construction waste is sorted and sent for reuse, so only a fraction of “waste” ever leaves Altruist Furnishings destined for landfill. 

New ideas

Altruist Furnishings have used creativity to breathe new life into old items.

“Older style TV cabinets were made with a lot of beautiful wood, but times have changed. We can renovatethese pieces into something new that suits modern lifestyles, like a wine rack, or use the wood to build a new piece” said Bryce.

Close the loop

Altruist Furnishings have big plans for reducing waste. They will expand the business’ gardens to process most of their unavoidable waste on site. Saw dust and wood chips will be used as mulch, and water from the workshop will be filtered and used on the gardens.

Using waste on site saves the emissions and costs associated with transportation, sorting and disposal.

Zero waste business tips

Turn over a new leaf in your business and give wasteful habits the flick with our tips.

  1. Reduce. Make simple switches to eliminate waste sources, for example remove paper towels and provide tea towels
  2. Reuse. Think creatively about how something can be repurposed before discarding it
  3. Respond. Send your waste reduction message up the supply chain by asking suppliers to reduce packaging waste (like unnecessary plastic and packing foam)
  4. Rehome. Give empty containers to a local school or early years learning centre, or ask REmida Creative Reuse Centre if their artists could use your materials.

 Find out more about the Switched on Business awards, including terms and conditions of entry, here.