Office Furniture

Beautiful, functional and half the cost: why everyone is talking about remanufactured office furniture

Whether you are looking to fit out new premises or refurbish your existing office, procuring the right furniture is crucial.

Many of us spend a large part of our working lives in offices. Layout, décor and the furniture we sit on and at, all play a fundamental role in the way we relate to our work and each other. From the beanbags and sofas of creative team spaces to the formality of desks on a trading floor, workspace culture is uniquely influenced and expressed through office design.

Getting more for less

Of course it is not just about how it looks, cost is a factor too. Your office furniture needs to be fit for purpose now and offer value for money over the long term. That is just one of the reasons that offices across London are increasingly choosing remanufactured office furniture in preference to new.

“You can think of remanufacturing as the ‘remaking’ an item of furniture,” says Greg Lavery of Rype Office, a leading London-based supplier of remanufactured office furniture and office design services. “We take the long-life elements of a used item, such as the metal frame of a desk for example, check and resurface them and then rebuild the piece around them. It is an engineering process.”

The process can include customisation too, such as resizing or reshaping desks to fit your space and your choice of coordinating fabrics, colours and materials. The resulting furniture is, quite literally, as good as new. The cost however is significant less, typically half the price of buying the same piece brand new. “When people see our furniture for the first time, they often don’t believe it is not brand new,” says Greg.

As the cost of office space increases, big firms are seeing the opportunity to save money, says Ann Beavis of Premier Sustain: “There is a growing trend towards more agile working layouts for large offices, allowing the accommodation of up to 30% more people in the same space in some cases.”

“We work with clients to redesign their work space and remanufacture the existing furniture for the new layout, for example by reducing the size of the desk top from 1600 to 1200mm. We can also adjust the frames if necessary, so they fit together neatly, and create custom features such as curved tops for the end of each row.”

Remanufacturing and the circular office

For some people, it is the environmental credentials of remanufactured furniture that make it such an attractive alternative. According to WRAP, about one third of the UK’s office furniture ends up in landfill, about 75,000 tonnes per year. Remanufacturing avoids this waste, and saves about 80-90% of the energy, water and emissions required to manufacture new items.

Reusing office furniture is a key element in the model for Circular Office, a Business in the Community (BITC) initiative that encourages organisations to create more efficient, resilient office spaces.

“Making better use of your resources can reduce costs, create new revenue opportunities from waste and increase organisational resilience,” says BITC. “There are also organisational and reputational benefits, including job creation and alignment to customers’ and suppliers’ sustainability commitments.”

No compromise

Premier Sustain manages The Renew Centre, a large remanufacturing facility in North London. “We are set up to operate at scale, “ says Ann. “We can turn large refurbishment and remanufacturing orders around quickly. It is cheaper and quicker than buying new desks and saves having to dispose of the old ones. It is the common sense option.”

In London’s vibrant economy, office spaces change frequently as organisations move, restructure and grow. The good news is that, whatever the reason for your refit, the increasing number of high quality remanufactured options available across the capital mean there is no need to comprise on style, environmental values or cost when it comes to office furniture.

What does a circular economy mean for London?

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