Mattias started Refurn with his wife Maria in 1994, refurbishing, repairing, sometimes redesigning old furniture and then reselling them. In the last few years, their project has really started to grow.
Mattias received permission from the city of Stockholm to collect discarded furniture from two recycling stations in the city. Refurn has its own containers just in front of the recycling containers where, otherwise, furniture gets burned, melted or dumped in a landfill.
“The first time we went, it was mind blowing. Within the first 4 hours, we had a mountain of things, like 2 meters by 10 meters of things, nice things”
In the beginning they lacked the logistics and capacity to handle this amount of furniture, but they have since built up a system, with warehouses, online selling platform and more people. Refun now has 26 employees. Still, Mattias only manages to collect a fraction of the furniture being thrown away.
“Today our capacity is around 2-5 ship containers per week. And from just these two recycling stations we have access to, we could at least quadruple this amount”
Mattias and Maria also sell products that allow people to fix their own furniture. With the amount of furniture coming in, they don’t have time to repair all of them, so it is important to help and teach people how to repair furniture themselves, to provide the tools and the guidance.
”We need more hands, and we need more people to learn how to repair their furniture”
Mattias’ dream: To spread large scale reuse and selling of old furniture at an industrial scale worldwide, in order to counter the mass production of short lifespan furniture production. He wants to be able to compete with the big giant furniture companies and to really have an impact.