One of the names causing a buzz at INTERIORS UK 2013 was Out of the Dark
. A pioneering charity and social enterprise, the organisation trains, educates and employs young people by taking old furniture and teaching them how to recycle, restore and revamp them into show-stopping pieces.
INTERIORS UK urge the interiors industry to support the project, whether it’s by volunteering your time at the project’s base, sharing your skills in craft or business, or donating old furniture and homewares. Fabric donations or end-of-the-line stock would hugely benefit the cause, giving trainees the materials they need to continue their work and improve upon their skills.
Founders, Jay and Jade Blades started the project in High Wycombe, once considered the epicenter of British furniture manufacturing. Jade, with a background in textile design, and Jay with connections in building and carpentry, wanted to use their skills and passions for furniture and textiles to create a youth project giving young people both work ethics and practical skills. The concept launched as a pilot two and half years ago and now employs seven youths and five trainees, all aged between thirteen and nineteen, with a further 12 trainees due to join the project this February.
'We wanted to give young people the skills and expertise they needed to steer them away from crime,' says Jade. 'By giving our students practical skills, hands-on experiences and personal projects they’re able to learn on the job and see their efforts come to life in products they can be really proud of. Being local to the area we also hoped to spark a regeneration and recognition of High Wycombe as a center of furniture manufacturing, breathing new life into the area.'
Out of the Dark sells finished products via its website, and also take on personalised projects should a customer want a unique item crafted or a heirloom restored. They also take on full design projects where the team can help you update a room, a whole building or an outside space using eco friendly ways of designing, building and craft.