Posted 26 November 2013 by Preloved
Eco designer Max McMurdo first came to prominence after gaining backing for his business, reestore, in The Dragons Den. Since then, his innovative remade furniture has led to a slot on Kirstie Allsopp's Fill Your House for Free and a booming business. We chat to him about his recycled ideas for design.
Well, I did have a proper job as a car designer once, but I didn't like their consuming, gas-guzzling ways, so I decided to quit my job, bought an old VW van and collected a load of junk to repurpose!
It's just great fun. You have to work with the material and its constraints, and working as part of a small team means you get to express yourself creatively.
When I set up reestore in 2002 my peers thought I had lost the plot! Nobody else was doing it and the word upcycling didn't even exist!
I guess so, my designs are deliberately provocative and I don't like the way design is typically a high-end, pretentious industry exclusively for rich people.
Yes, definitely. I think attitudes have completely changed, it's now desirable to be seen as thrifty and thoughtful. 10 years ago it was shiny and expensive items that people desired.
I guess the bath tub chairs are pretty bonkers, although they are originally designed to hold a person ergonomically!
Annie the trolley chair (right) was my first design so i have a soft spot for her
For individual pieces, I love a good old-fashioned scrap yards. Our more key pieces are now sourced through suppliers
My success in The Dragons Den absolutely changed the business and the way I design. I wouldn't be where I am without my trusty dragons!
It tells a story, has a soul and also helps the planet
Well, it would appear that the UK has gone upcycling crazy! We are just launching a series of upcycling workshops where people can come and learn the key skills. I am also working on several new TV opportunities which is very exciting.
There's loads of bargains and things being given away on Preloved that are ripe for some repurposing, so check out our Freeloved pages for fab freebies, or the cool vintage finds in our Time Machine and get creative!
Or if you've got something you want to recycle, put it on Preloved with a FREE ADVERT and find it a new home in your area.