What a busy few weeks we've had: spring cleaning, photographing and showing furniture, doing a bit of sanding, and planning upcoming events. And, the occasional lounging around enjoying the spring sunshine (lucky we have so many chairs around!).
The most exciting part has been launching our summer collection, which we're doing in partnership with ÖKO-JOB. They have a workshop in Gelterkinden which helps people re-enter the job market, by providing a meaningful and practical activity - as well as an environmentally friendly (upcycled) product. They re-furbish garden and outdoor furniture and give it a second life, which is closely aligned with the ecochair.ch purpose. If you have some garden furniture at home, that needs to be refurbished, they can also help with that. Contact them >
Those of you who follow us on instagram may have spotted some of their work, a lovely turquoise garden bench being wheeled to a customer last week. We've got a few of their spaghetti chairs and some classic wood garden chairs in the shop, so do come by and have a test sit. These are a great way to support your community, protect the planet ...and get a cool vintage Swiss design piece.
I think refurbishing things is an important antidote to the throw-away culture that seems to have taken over the world in the past few decades. Often, the price of getting something fixed can be as much (or more) as buying something new, which is so frustrating. This lopsided situation has arisen because our connectivity and networks of logistics allow us to buy things that have been made by people working at a fraction of the labour cost, in faraway lands. This isn't all bad, as these jobs are an important part of developing countries' economies, but the systems aren't set up to repair items and so we are left with things we can't fix ourselves and that we can't afford to have fixed. That's why organisations such as ÖKO-JOB are so important - they are able to repair things at a fair price. If you're thinking about buying some new garden furniture, do some quick math in your head - materials, labour, shipping, marketing, storage, retail space rental. Now think about the process of refurbishing - materials, painting, sawing sanding, threading - you're not buying a secondhand chair, you are buying a renewed chair, made locally. It's so important to think about where things come from when we buy.
In addition to all of the operational work, we've also got the one year anniversary of the shop coming up, can you believe it? To celebrate, we will be hosting an 'Apéro riche' on June 2nd, and you're invited. Find out more here >.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in the coming weeks,
Kate and the ecochair.ch team