Not having a creative bone in your body is no excuse for being unable to turn your old and dull furniture into something new and attractive, says Casey Becker.
Ms Becker is the general manager at The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre — a shop located in Marrickville that sells pre-loved household, building and office goods.
The Bower Re-Use and Repair Centre is also a registered not-for-profit co-operative and charity. All money raised at the centre is put back into the community through education programs and workshops.
The centre was established in 1998 when a group of inner city residents decided to contribute solutions to Sydney's waste crisis by up-cycling old household and office items and selling them back to the community at affordable prices.
Since then, the centre has implemented a number of education workshops such as book binding, upholstery and bike repair.
Ms Becker said classes were aimed at teaching people how to be more environmentally conscious through repair and reuse.
"Thousands of items each year go to landfill and so the centre was initially started to combat this problem," she said. "At the centre we can teach people how to breathe new life into their old furniture so it doesn't end up in landfill."
Ms Becker said up-cycling wasn't just another chore to do, it was a fun activity.
"Up-cycling is really fun and you can turn your home into something really funky," she said. "I've been working on an old lounge (pictured above) every afternoon. I've found the project really fun and my housemates love what I have done to our place through up-cycling. Even if you don't know how to sew, once you come to the centre you will be shown what to do and get heaps of advice."
Ms Becker said furniture created and sold at the workshops was as good as furniture found in vintage homeware stores.
"Up-cycled furniture pieces are just as good or better than vintage furniture," she said. "When you up-cycle your own furniture it's made with love."
■ Details: For more information on workshops or how to become a member at the centre, visit The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre Co-operative bower.org.au/about/our-mission.html or like them on facebook.