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London Upcycling Show

After its success in 2016, the London Upcycling Show returned for a second time in 2017! North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and Groundwork London joined forces to host the event on Sunday 19 November at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall as part of European Week for Waste Reduction. We aimed to help people get excited about upcycling furniture – while simultaneously rescuing valuable resources from being thrown away.

More than 250 people came along to be inspired, get new ideas and have a go at upcycling. This fun, family-friendly event showcased upcycling at its very best, and was packed with practical workshops, interactive demonstrations and creative exhibitions, including a live upcycling competition where two teams of audience volunteers had 40 minutes to create something from pallet wood. 

The finished pieces from the upcycling competition for north Londoners were also exhibited and judged on the day. Entrants from the boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest all vied for the top spot in a contest that saw them upcycling an item from one of five categories of furniture in less than three weeks.

Tommy Walsh (of Ground Force fame) and vlogger The Home Genie ( aka TV presenter Georgina Burnett joined Waltham Forest locals Chris Barrett from thinkFOUND furniture and Andy Dickson aka 'The Chair Man' in judging the 25 entries on display and awarding prizes worth up to £150 in DIY vouchers.

People attending the show were also invited to cast a vote for their favourite entry and helped select the winner of the people’s choice prize from among the exhibited upcycled items.

Congratulations to all the entrants on the quality of their entries, and especially to the prize winners:

  • Best Upcycled Bedside Cabinet (For Child) – Terry May, from LB Haringey
  • Best Upcycled Upright Chair – Camilla Tepasse, from LB Waltham Forest
  • Best Upcycled Armchair – Barnet Furniture Centre, entry by volunteers from LBs Enfield & Barnet
  • Best Upcycled Side Table – Lindsey Molyneux, LB Camden
  • Best Upcycled Sideboard – Luke Newcombe, from LB Haringey
  • People’s Choice – a draw between the upcycled bedside cabinet (for child) by KIDS Adventure Play, from LB Hackney, and the upcycled sideboard by Carol for The Loop @ Grahame Park, from LB Barnet
  • Overall Winner – upcycled armchair by Helen Westerby, from LB Waltham Forest

Reusing furniture helps reserve valuable resources and diverts reusable items from disposal. In the UK each year, 10 million items of furniture are thrown away, many of which are still in good condition.

By showcasing reuse and upcycling initiatives in the capital, and highlighting the talents of local residents, the event sought to encourage more Londoners to move away from the ‘throw away culture’ and try repairing, repurposing or donating items rather than disposing of them.

Logos of partners associated with London Upcycling Show