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ReFunk Upcycling

ReFunk is a furniture upcycling platform that supports the circular economy by connecting freelance upcyclers with sustainable consumers.

$9,725
pledged of$10,000 goal
1
6Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on December 1, 2022

Project Description

Visa She’s Next Irish Grant Contest

 

  • What is the mission of your company or project?


ReFunk's mission is simple; to reduce waste by extending the life-span of furniture through upcycling and repairing. People throw out their furniture for two main reasons: it is has a defect, or it has gone out of fashion and the style/colours no longer appeal to them. Both of these issues can be solved by upcycling!

  • Describe the problem you are solving.


10 Millions tonnes of furniture is discarded annually in the EU and according to our initial survey 79% of consumers want to purchase sustainable furniture but don't know where to find it. Meanwhile, there is a close-knit community of talented furniture upcyclers in almost every community who lack a strong online presence and don't know how to market their services or reach buyers. The ReFunk platform helps consumers to get extend the lifespan of their furniture by connecting them with upcyclers who can completely transform their furniture and give it a new lease of life.

  • What is the market size/opportunity?

 

The global furniture market is worth €480 billion, while the second-hand furniture market represents €11.9 billion demonstrating a huge potential for ReFunk's growth. Furniture upcycling is a rapidly growing market, demonstrated by internet searches for upcycling having almost doubled in the UK since 2018 however this is no one singular platform to facilitate Upcyclers scaling their business. The growth of the furniture upcycling movement has been driven by environmental awareness about growing waste volumes and high residual value of discarded furniture (Sung 2017). The pandemic accelerated the move towards alternative furniture consumption channels, and in 2020 eBay reported a surge of 171% in its search engine’s searches for the keyword ‘sustainable furniture’ over 2019 in the U.K. (Fortune Business Insights, 2021).

  • What is your company/product about and how does it solve the problem? 

 

ReFunk is a furniture upcycling platform that seamlessly connects freelance furniture upcyclers with conscious and design-oriented consumers, to fuel the circular and gig economies in the furniture sector. ReFunk bridges the gap between consumers and craftspeople, empowering upcyclers to showcase their work to an engaged audience and enabling prospective customers to connect directly with them to buy or commission a bespoke piece of upcycled furniture. The ReFunk difference is that customers no longer have to compromise on their interior style for sustainable furniture, and the upcycling community is empowered to scale their creative passion into a profitable business. Current Furniture Sales Channels (online marketplaces) only allow for a one-way sales experience, with customers only having the option of purchasing specifically stylised pre-upcycled furniture. With ReFunk, customers are empowered to be involved in the design process to commission a bespoke piece of furniture, emulating the success of Gig Economy Platforms Fiverr or Upwork but for furniture. ReFunk has tech-enabled this process, unlike any other Furniture Sales Channel, to facilitate this innovative and rapidly growing two-way customer journey.

  • Why are you seeking funding and how will you spend the funding?

We are seeking funding to grow out our tech team to create the most user-friendly platform possible. Our focus at the moment is gaining traction on our platform by onboarding upcyclers and introducing customers to the ReFunk process. We are also developing an exciting community-focused upcycler strategy which involves events, workshops, online seminars and gift boxes with the aim of strengthening our connection with our upcyclers and building brand loyalty. 

  • Who is on your team?

ReFunk is made up of our four female co-founders; Ellen Ryall, Anna Sheehan, Ellie Walters and Meredith Davis. Ellie is our CEO and leads the team on strategy, partnerships and Managing the day to day runnings of the business. Ellen is Head of Sales and Communications and focuses on PR, comms, customer strategy and expanding the business network. Meredith is the Creative Director and works on ReFunk's branding, content and implementing our upcycler onboarding strategy. Anna is head of Finance and Sustainability, she looks after our sustainability goals and our finances. 

Niall, is our Head of Engineering who joined the ReFunk team full-time in May! Niall leads our tech and product strategy and  manages our team of freelance engineers. 

I hope this bio explains a little bit more about what ReFunk and our team is hoping to achieve. We have had such an exciting journey over the last 18 months and cannot wait to see where this take us! 

Thank you for your support and stay circular!

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Visa
09/29/2022
Monetary Contribution
$9,725
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