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96 Nick Oettinger transcript

Circular Economy Podcast - 96 Nick Oettinger - Keeping mattresses in circulation

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Interview Transcript

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Catherine Weetman  00:03

Nick, welcome to the circular economy podcast. And thanks for joining us today to talk a bit about the furniture recycling group. And maybe we could start with a quick overview of what the furniture recycling group does. Oh, well.

Nick Oettinger  00:17

Hi, Catherine, thanks so much for inviting me on. Start with. Yes. Furniture recycling group is a company we started just over 13 years ago. And its aim was to take difficult to recycle items out of landfill and find a use for them at home for them in terms of their material composition. The name of the company suggests that we looked at all furniture. But we looked at the hardest types of furniture to deal with first, which was mattresses. And actually we’ve never got off that subject yet. So we predominantly are a mattress recycler. Although we do deal with other items. But yeah, there’s so much scope for growing mattress recycling within the UK, that, that we haven’t completed that mission yet before we get on to anything else. So So yeah, a brief overview, I suppose is we started a company with just myself. And, and a little unit where we used to take apart mattresses, we’ve now grown to business, which operates over four sites throughout the UK, which employs, we have a think just over 140 employees now, which is fantastic. And probably the proudest bit about this is providing the sustainable jobs for hard working people. And we’re recycling currently in the region of about 14,000 mattresses a week. So very different from the one mattress that we had first week, from our from our first customer. I unfortunately don’t get to recycle many matches anymore. I’ve turned into an accountant and HR and everything else, but but I still keep a very good, very good eye on the shop floor and have a brilliant team around us that helped us grow year on year, which is which is great.

Catherine Weetman  02:23

Yeah, that’s, that’s impressive. It’s, you know, it’s quite a short time, isn’t it? 13 years to go from the start of an idea to having four sites. And for people who are not familiar with the inside of a mattress, which I guess is probably 99% of the people listening to this. Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about the design and materials and some of the recent trends and developments that have perhaps taken us away from more natural materials and fillings and so on.

Nick Oettinger  02:56

Yeah, absolutely. So when you when you when you lie down at night, you don’t really realise what’s there. Most people know that there are springs involved but don’t know the sort of composition. Effectively a mattress is made up of a spring unit. And then it has something called an insulated pad which is effectively to stop the springs poking through so you can’t feel them. And that’s a hard layer and that can be various different types of material anything from horsehair to coconut fibre. To shoddy fibres which is a mixture of old old fibres, walls and polyester. Then you have a comfort layer which is your sort of squishy stuff that really makes you sort of comfort levels on the mattress. Right and then there’s the outer material which is ticking. Now we used to say there’s up to 19 different material types in a mattress. Now that’s not in each mattress. But over the over the course of all the mattresses it’s split into 19 different types. That’s grown recently to about 26 different types of materials because we are still getting of course the mattresses that are 30 years old that have come out some somebody spare room that’s hardly ever used. And we’re also getting mattresses now that have only been in circulation for a month or so whether they be online returns that have been damaged or or, or just the fact that people have turned over their mattresses a lot quicker because they’ve moved houses or whatever it is. So we’ve seen a massive change in composition within that time and although I did say that mattresses have a spring unit in it of course now increasingly we find the mattresses without a spring unit in it. I think everybody will have seen the so called Bed In A Box the rolled up mattress that you see advertised all over TV from various brands and those are effectively for mattresses, which are able to be rolled up, some do contain a spring unit, others don’t. So that’s definitely the biggest shift we’ve seen in in mattresses over the last over the last five to six years. And it’s generally to do with delivery options. So delivery options of a rolled up mattress is a one man delivery, which is a lot cheaper than a two man delivery carrying a six foot mattress, round a spiral staircase, you know, to the top floor so so that, you know there’s a lot of choice out there to people there are still the traditional steel, the natural products that are out there and the traditional mattresses are the are the majority that are still sold, but about 30% now and the sort of bed in the box mattresses, and we’re seeing that plateau out it was a very high growth. But we’re now seeing that sort of plateau out because I think the UK market is is very much more attuned to a traditional mattress rather than the role of mattresses which which are probably used more by younger people because you know, it’s quite an innovative thing to be able to pop this thing and see it grow. In fact, it’s really cool to watch. And they are supremely comfortable the mattresses. So a lot of people ask me, what’s what’s the best type of mattress to rely on. And it’s what you’re used to more than anything. So So we’ve seen a massive shift and change from horsehair and, and there used to be a long time ago carpet, what’s in mattresses as an insulator layer, to more technical products now, and mixtures of fibres like your polyesters. And we’re seeing a resurgence. Well, not even a resurgence are starting now for manufacturers looking to put recycled materials into their mattresses. And you might have seen on some of the adverts that people are putting old coke bottles and pop bottles in recycled polyesters and, and that sort of stuff that goes through. So he’s going more towards less materials, less types of materials and each mattress, which makes it easier to recycle. But but the manufacturers still need the input from us at the at the back end to tell them what’s effectively able to be recycled. And not because there is always a potential of greenwashing with these things. Whereas technically this item can be recycled, but you have to send it halfway around the world to get it recycled. And then you have to bring it halfway around the world to bring it back in. So the carbon footprint also has to be taken into account of the recyclability of the materials when they’re designed in at the start.

Catherine Weetman  08:06

Yeah, that’s interesting. So it sounds as if most of the traditional mattresses are going to come back at the end of their useful life, which may or may not be sooner than it used to be as people decide to trade up or whatever more often. But then the bed in the box ones particularly where I guess people haven’t tried them in a shop and you know, done the embarrassing thing of laying down for 10 minutes on a bed in a shop, perhaps with your partner complaining that this beds too hard or too soft. So the Bed In A Box ones are perhaps more likely to come back after their trial period. So there they could be hardly used at all. Absolutely. And

Nick Oettinger  08:57

from from that point, you know, we’re seeing that in traditional mattresses now as well, especially post COVID. Because a lot of shops for shirts, people were still able to buy online. So lots of the retailers are one particular retailer that we deal with had a shift from 20% online sales and 8% in store a complete reversal to 80% online sales and 20% in store and that’s continued to COVID or as opposed to COVID as we are and and what happens of course with the consumer care act of buying online is if you haven’t led on it store, effectively the consumer care act the distance selling regulations as they used to be kicks into place. So you can send it back within a period and get your money back. So we are seeing more and more traditional mattresses being sent back because of the huge increase in online sales of the products and that’s why we We started our, or what’s called comfort guarantee returns is why we started our rejuvenation process, which is, which is where we take these barely used mattresses in, put them through a very, very stringent data capture process. So we’re capturing everything from manufacture of faults to, to condition, cleanliness. And then if it passes within agreed criteria with the with the customer, or the brand does it work because the customer is the person that lives on the mattress, but the brand is the one that sends it to us. We then pass that mattress and put it through our in house developed sanitization system, which completely sanitises the mattress, and then we repackage it, and then the brands will resell that through their websites generally, as rejuvenator, which is a fantastic thing. So although people try and buy, and then maybe send it back, and there are certain amounts of return rates that come along with that proposition, what we find is that we’re not losing those two recycling in the main system, not shortening the lifespan at all, because we are able to give it another life. And as well as helps helping support lower incomes, which is especially needed at this time. Because this, the second use a mattress, I suppose it’s the difference between going into buying a brand new car and buying an ex demonstrator, which has dropped a certain amount of value, you know, so it means that there are really good mattresses out there, they’re absolutely brilliant and guaranteed for 10 and 15 years, they’ve only been slept on a few times that have been through a proper process that are now more afford to the sort of mass market I suppose rather than the top end market. And that’s really encouraging from from that point, and, and helps things go. So in waste hierarchy. Reuse is higher than than recycling. And I know a lot of your listeners, Catherine maker, meanwhile, wouldn’t sleep on a second round bed that somebody’s had before. What I’d say to them is what do you do when you go on holiday? Or Premier Inn or Hilton, or you can go to the Savoy and sleep in a bed that’s been on the bed for seven years with countless numbers of people in there. You know, it is it is. It is one of the barriers we’ve got to get over is the perception of this being a sort of, cause somebody slept on it. It’s a dirty item, which is absolutely. I have one myself, so I wouldn’t sleep on it if it was dirty.

Catherine Weetman  12:52

Yeah, that’s a really good point. And it is it is, you know, like a lot of things. Our initial perception doesn’t really stand up to much questioning and challenging, does it because you’re right, that we are all happy to go and sleep in hotels, and I was also thinking of, you know, hospital beds, are you used over and over again, aren’t they? Although, I guess, from my experience, they’ve usually got nasty plastic mattress covers.

Nick Oettinger  13:18

Yes. I mean, if you look at the marketing of mattresses, the marketing sort of gives a false impression in the fact that you always end up with a with a gorgeous looking lady or man or both led on top of a mattress nice and comfortable. But it’s a bare mattress. Most people will have a mattress protector or a comfort thing or certainly a fitted sheet. You know, you are not lying on the bed mattress in 99% of the case exactly. As those you know, those lists that linen is washed very regularly just as it is in hotels. Yeah. So go Yeah, so it is a perception issue. But But I think people are getting over that very, very quickly. I mean, we in terms of our rejuvenation, just to put some stats on it. In terms of consumer complaints for quality. The average through brand new mattresses is about sort of eight to 9% through deliveries online deliveries where people haven’t lived on the mattress beforehand. The the average complaint ratio from the products that we’ve put through our process is 1.2%.

Catherine Weetman  14:38

Yeah, that and that kind of lines up with some of the stats on things like remanufactured technology, because the testing process it goes through every single unit, not just batch testing across the whole of the production run, but testing every single unit for all the things that might be wrong. Means you end up with something that’s more likely to be properly functional, and, you know, definitely fit for purpose. So, yeah, that’s, that’s a really interesting stat. Absolutely.

Nick Oettinger  15:09

I liken it very much to the advert that says this has been through an AE 48 point check, you know, this car it gives you, it should give you that certain amount of reassurance that it’s been through something that’s particularly comprehensive.

Catherine Weetman  15:25

And just just to be clear on this, so, for those comfort guarantee returns, is the furniture recycling group collecting those? Or are they coming in through the same, you know, home delivery service that that sent them out to customers?

Nick Oettinger  15:42

It can be both, really. So it can be it can be the brand which organises the home collection, it can, they can give that job to us as well. We have home delivery partners that do collections on behalf of us. So we can either deal with the whole journey, or just receive the items in and then process them as we get that volume to give you an idea. I know we spoke about volume on recycling. We’re currently doing about three and a half 1000 units a week on that sort of volume. So it’s a significant amount of mattresses.

Catherine Weetman  16:17

Yeah, yeah. And, yeah, that’s, that’s really impressive, isn’t it? And particularly, because they’re the ones that are most likely to, to then stay in use for, you know, a long time afterwards. And so those, those are some of your kind of, you know, base revenue earning activities, Nick. Yeah. And I think when we talked before, you were describing some of the ways that you’re helping mattress makers and retailers to learn how to be more circular.

Nick Oettinger  16:52

Yeah, I mean, we’ve we’ve been sort of banging the drum well, for as long as I can remember, really, and, and it has been, like talking to a wall at some points in the past, it’s got to be said, but actually, you know, the mattress industry is really receptive to this now and, and we’re almost pushing against open doors or even being invited in. So we now have a we have a sort of element of consultative work within our business we don’t charge for for this. But we’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge in composition of mattresses, and end of life. outlets for different materials and different compositions of materials. And also prices, because everyone thinks that the circular and circular economy, no, everyone forgets the word economy, somebody’s got to pay for it. So you know, you can have the best material in the world. It’s very recyclable, but it costs a fortune, it’s only economical to recycle, it won’t get recycled.

Nick Oettinger  17:57

So, so we’re working with our manufacturers and retailers and and we’re working with the gods of those areas, who are the buyers, the people, you don’t get to see that if you’re involved in sales at all to retailers, you’ll know they’re effectively the most important people you’re ever going to deal with. And those are the people that we’re now talking to. So look at the design of mattresses, not from the point of view of performance, not from the point of view of sale point, although those are very important. And there’s still look at those. But we’re also asking them to ask the question, what do we do with this at the end of life, you’ve designed the mattress, what bits are in the mattress? So maybe you could and we’ve asked and one retailer is actually taking it all? That they’re asking for a material passport with each product? And they say what are the materials in this? And in seven or eight years when somebody throws this way? What can the recycler do with these materials? If it was thrown away today? Where would it go? Let’s not hope that somebody invents something to do with these materials in the next seven years. Because somebody could spill a cup of tea on it tomorrow and throw it away tomorrow. So it might become waste very quick. So these materials that you’re putting in what are we doing and what is the value of those materials.

Nick Oettinger  19:18

Because as we lurch ever more closely towards extended producer responsibility and mattresses and furniture as a whole, which is the last big extended producer responsibility scheme needs to be put in you know, eco modulation of fees, which is a very sort of technical way of saying if it’s cheaper and easier to recycle you get more out of it at the end it shouldn’t cost as much from the person who manufactured it to start with. So so the Eco modulation phase is very important for to drive design. And and we’re now working with like They, with retailers with manufacturers, with designers and buyers to give our two penneth worth in, say, Well, if you sent me that mattress at the moment, these are what all the materials are worth. So I’ll give you a very, very quick example, there is cotton and polyester are two of the materials that are used as comfort layers within the material within a mattress. So cotton is worth about 80 pounds a tonne, when we take it out of a mattress is worth 375 pounds a tonne. When we take it out of the mattress. When they mix cotton and polyester into one pad, and that pad is mixed, it’s worth minus 185 pounds. So these are the very little things that that we’re trying to without preaching, educate our customers on to say, you know, just just stop and think and ask, you know, what, what’s this worth at the end? And if it’s a negative number, can we do better? Can we put something in there that actually hold and reserve its value because the more value you get out of the materials at the end of a dismantling or recycling process, the less you have to charge at the front end to cover the costs of the process or the business model is very, very simple. In the middle, we have the cost of doing it. And we charge for the materials coming in at the front end. And we try and make as much value out of the materials going out in the back end. Well, the the smaller value of materials means you have to charge more in front. I always say if they made mattresses with copper springs, you would never see one on the side of the road, because we’re taking them apart from the value. Never have to pay for recycling of a mattress because the value is insightful. Now, unfortunately, copper doesn’t work in mattresses, and nobody nobody at buyer level or anyone yet Catherine has taken me up on that which, which would be brilliant if it did. But that’s the principle the principle is designing the economy to create a circularity. If you follow the money, first and foremost, then then effectively, the the circularity follows, you know, if you’ve got value in there, nobody’s gonna throw value away.

Catherine Weetman  22:23

Yeah. And what about designing for refurbishment or even re manufacture? Is that starting to happen?

Nick Oettinger  22:31

Absolutely, yes, it’s something that we are, well, that we are looking at, in terms with with certain areas. So So we’re, we’re looking with a few companies at the moment of designing what I term the triggers broom of mattresses, where you don’t have to throw away the whole thing, you can replace the components. So because, you know, I don’t know about you, Catherine, but at certain points of the year I’m laying in bed and I’m too hot, or I’ve got a bad back and I need a bit more support, and then my back sorted again, and I don’t need as much support. We all think different things throughout different times. And certainly when you’ve got two people in the same bed, they need different things at different times as well. So we’re now looking at substrata is of of mattresses being separate from the comfort layer, so the comfort layers can be changed more regularly. You know, your spring in a mattress will will last for 25 years without a problem. But the comfort layers won’t. Now if you follow the National Bed Federation’s latest guidance is that you change your mattress every eight years. Which is a strange thing. Bear in mind that most mattresses are guaranteed for 10 years but you know, we’ve all got to sell mattresses mattresses have to be keep being sold to keep the economy going as does everything else. So you know, throw away society is not a bad thing, if what’s been thrown away has been designed to be thrown away and designed with circular economy principles in mind. But But But yeah, so we’re looking at different types of mattresses with different customers at the moment to design them so that you’re not throwing away the whole thing you’re not you know, it’s a little bit like your car. You know, if you lived in Norway, you don’t throw your car away when it’s winter because you need winter tires, you just swap the tires over to winter tires and then wait summer again, you know, so it’s that sort of, I think very intelligent thinking by the industry that’s going to start making real changes. And there is a some text to this in terms of if you buy the mattress from us and you’ll then buy the toppers from us and it’s rather than one customer in every eight years you might get a customer every one year you know it’s replaceable parts But so so there’s always behind everything, there’s a financial aspect to it. Yeah, and it sales aspect to it. But, but actually, you know what that will mean that, that people won’t be throwing away.

Nick Oettinger  25:18

I think I think somebody said it to me, it’s like throwing the bike away when you get a puncture. You know, what we want to do is replace the wheel or replace the tire. And that’s where we need to get to with mattresses, and that I think, will change huge amounts of the industry, purely from a logistical point of view, because you’ve got to remember in terms of, I don’t know, metres, sorry, I’m a feet kind of guy. But 23 cubic feet is the average mattress, wow. Our you know, you know, in terms of these big trucks that you see going down the road. So you’ll see one of these huge 40 foot waggons going down the road, you’ll pass them on the motorway, you’ll hate them when they’re on country lanes because you can’t get past and now they are massive, you’ll fit about 80 mattresses onto one of those. That’s it. So if you imagine that that going into a hole in the ground in terms of landfill, you know, the the status, the mattresses that are thrown away within the UK, which is about eight and eight to eight and a half million mattresses a year now. Wow. That’s a Wembley Stadium two and a half times every year. Yeah. You know, it’s a huge, huge volume.

Catherine Weetman  26:29

Yeah. Yeah, that’s horrendous. And, yeah, I mean, I’d, I would take a different views view on the kind of, you know, throw away society is not a bad thing. If you know if we can do something with what’s thrown away, but we could get into a very long debate about you know, why that’s not gonna work from a from a carbon and, and even the economy point of view. I saw some figures from Circular Economy from a an Ikea presentation about sofas the other day. Yeah, and IKEA had done some work, to look at what value they could recover at various points of the circular process, from reselling from helping people refurbish their sofas, perhaps with new cushion covers, or even new covers, you know, a more in depth remanufacture. And finally, earning money from being able to recycle the materials. And instead of just selling the sofa once, at maybe 300 euros for a basic IKEA sofa, IKEA could generate 600 euros of revenue from those, you know, three or four circular processes. So I think it’s, you know, coming back to what we said, it’s, it’s about reuse first and recycling. Yes, we need to design for recycling. But if we’re also designing for refurbishment, maybe with the topper and so on designing for re manufacture and so on, then that’s even even better.

Nick Oettinger  28:06

No, absolutely. And I think I think you’re absolutely right, and my sort of coin on throwaways is design changes, moves, all things at the end of at the end of their position do have to go somewhere, you know, I just look at fridges, if we if we didn’t innovate and update our fridge, we’d all be on the worst Energy Rating fridges sets, you know, almost gushing out black smoke from the back of it in in our houses. So, you know, design moves on. But what we’ve got to do is make sure that design that’s being implemented now is designed with end of life in mind. But also, as you say, with refurbishment with second life because there is a huge furniture issue within the UK and a furniture poverty within the UK. Which which the company that you’ve mentioned IKEA is firmly aware of and dealing with in terms of trying to do something about that and make products more affordable to to lower incomes. You know and and that’s I suppose the the element where the reuse comes in designing something so that if it’s got a small issue, the whole thing doesn’t have to go away. You can refurbish that part of it and then it can go on to a second life even if it’s not in the same household.

Catherine Weetman  29:26

Yeah, exactly.

Nick Oettinger  29:30

It’s the old the old thing that used to happen with my mum dad and everything was passed down my first house, every donated bit of furniture all the way through

Catherine Weetman  29:39

Yeah, exactly.

Nick Oettinger  29:40

a model Circular Economy household.

Catherine Weetman  29:44

But that was that was in the days when you know we designed things to things to last. But yeah, so Nick in the in the 14 years 13, 14 years since you started the furniture recycling group What surprised you the most in terms of building the business and espousing circularity to retailers and brands?

Nick Oettinger  30:09

Oh, crikey. So I suppose the the, the worst surprise I’ve had, because there’s good surprises and bad surprises in all things. But I suppose the bad surprise has been just how difficult it has been, in the early days to talk about this subject and anybody actually understand it. It was ticking a box from a sustainability managers point of view, who had no say it sort of decision making level. And that was the most frustrating and surprising thing, from companies that were making very big bold statements to the public about their sustainability. So that was exceptionally surprising.

Nick Oettinger  30:59

What’s What surprised me in, in a positive, and this is a very personal thing for inside the company, rather than the industry, is just how many good people there are out there. You know, we’ve got 140 people within this business, and I’m not going to be silly and say all of them, you know, eat, sleep and breathe, what we’re doing and love it and whatever else. But we’ve got some excellent people here, we wouldn’t be where we are without them. And, and from, and everyone in terms of management, business owners will tell you, people are the biggest problem. No, people are your biggest resource, absolute biggest resource, treat them well. And they will do anything for the business. And they will work hard. And you know, nobody goes to work to do a bad job, give them an environment where they can grow and do the best they can be. And that’s really surprised me. When I first got in here, I thought, I’m just gonna be an HR officer. And I’m just going to deal with problems all day long. And actually, that isn’t the case at all, if you build the right team, if you buy my first boss is principle of never employ anybody worse than you always bring somebody in is better than you. And that’s how you grow. And I’ve taken that on board. And that’s all we’ve ever done. So I’m fairly redundant now.

Catherine Weetman  32:32

Yeah, well, that that sounds like a good Wait, a good principle to aim for, doesn’t it? And yeah, I’ve heard that before, I think from one of my old old buses. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s great advice. And in terms of a tip, perhaps more about the circular economy. If you were talking to other businesses that wanted to go circular, I know you talk to your clients all the time. But talking to somebody who’s maybe not into mattress, sales or or, or design, what what top tip, would you share with a business wanting to go circular?

Nick Oettinger  33:14

There’s one very, very simple top tip. And it’s something that I that I say to all of them, it’s asked the question. You know, what is the question? Well, the question is, whether you’re a buyer, or whether you’re a designer, or whether you’re involved in, you know, when this is going to be thrown away, when somebody is finished with it, what do they do with it? What does the retailer how does the retailer help with? What does somebody do with either the product was going out there or the product it is replacing? What do we do with the components that are inside? And if the answer from people who are designing this and trying to sell them is I don’t know it’s somebody else’s problem. Don’t put it on your shelf? put something else on because at that point, you know, the economy and retail works from manufacturers putting things on retail shelves and consumers buying you know, the very simple sort of started what do we do with it at the end of issues for life? Where does it go? Who can take it can anybody take this product? No, nobody wants it well, why are we why are we making it in this way? Can we not do better? So just as you know, ask that question. That’s it’s a bit – I suppose – woolly, but if you don’t ask the question, what do we do with it when it’s finished with you know, you buy a you buy a TFRG – well you can’t buy one, but we buy them – reusable mugs that we have for tea or coffee or juice or whatever it He’s in and around in around the business. First thing we asked is what sort of plastics it made out of, and where can we recycle it, and then his life. And the amount of people that didn’t know that is phenomenal. And we ended up buying it from a company that said, it’s made out of this. This is where you take it, this is what it can be recycled into. And, and that made the sale for us. So we just asked the question Catherine.

Catherine Weetman  35:28

Yeah, that’s, that’s a good one. And just to give a quick, a quick plug to Circular and Co, I know that they won an award recently, they were on the podcast a couple of years ago. So they make their reusable coffee cups very well insulated, spillproof. And everything they’re made from end of use, takeaway tea and coffee cups, they’ve got a design life of 10 years. And when you finish with it, you can send it back to circular encode to be made into a new cup. So perfect, closed loop. Absolutely. And, Nick, who would you recommend as a future guests for the programme?

Nick Oettinger  36:09

Crikey, I, I am. I really, I really don’t know, as a guest in the future for a future programme. I always think, you know, it’s very easy for us at our end, to talk about circular economy, I think it would be really interesting to talk to a buyer. See what they know and see what their thoughts of circular economy is. Because we’ve talked today about their importance in making sure circular economy is in there. And and if you were to get a retailer’s, you know, buyer in and have a chat with them about it, because we’re coming at it from one point, there’s a lot of stakeholders in this conversation, that all needs to be heard, and all need to be satisfied. Because if one chink in the chain isn’t satisfied, the whole thing breaks apart. So I think somebody comes from a completely different point of view, somebody who wants to sell as many as they can, and, and has the criteria and the design on there. It’d be lovely to hear from maybe maybe your listeners, it would be lovely to hear from that point of view. Because, you know, knowledge is key with all this. We can’t design a solution without knowing all the variables.

Catherine Weetman  37:31

Yeah. And there’s so much up so many opportunities to use procurement to help accelerate the circular economy. So that’s a great idea. Thank you. And, Nick, if you could wave a magic wand and change one thing to help create a better world that can be related to furniture or not? What would that be?

Nick Oettinger  37:53

I’d ban advertising.

Catherine Weetman  37:56

I’m really with you on that one. Yep. And I am I’ve been if we don’t know, we want it. We don’t need it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that’s really good. And there’s a there’s a campaign isn’t there? Is it called Brandalism? So yeah, buying up space on advertising holdings, and so on in cities, but putting a more sustainable or community focused message on they’re often having a bit of a dig at big brands, and they’re, you know, in a sort of an oblique way. So yeah, and I’ve been posting a bit on LinkedIn recently, suggesting that we should have marketing literacy courses. You know, we’ve got carbon literacy to help us understand how our carbon footprints all arise, but marketing literacy, to help us understand how marketing works, how we do get, you know, persuaded in inverted commas to do things and how they tap into our insecurities and you know, deep seated needs and so on. I think helping people understand how that works, so that you can spot when it’s coming at you and decide whether or not you’re going to go along with it. So, brilliant idea. I like that. Thank you. And lastly, Nick, how can people find out more and get in touch with you and the furniture recycling group?

Nick Oettinger  39:18

Well, they can simply go to the website which is www dot t f r, Tango Foxtrot Romeo If they are a consumer and they have a bed to recycle, they can go to our consumer website, which is the mattress recycling people and we offer to collect from your house and bring the mattresses back to one of our facilities and recycle it properly. And, and yeah, either either of those two routes and all the emails and contact details are on there. If anybody wants to speak to us, just to find out more they don’t need To be a potential customer, then we’re always more than willing to help show people around. You know, the more we spread the message, the more it drives the need, I think, for people to want to get involved and that’s, that’s really important.

Catherine Weetman  40:15

Yeah, absolutely. And it helps people realise that there are good options out there for either buying rejuvenated mattresses or finding finding a way to get their mattress back into either a reuse or or an effective recycling system instead of just wondering whether the local council is going to end up sending it to incineration or landfill. Brilliant. So thank you very much, Nick, for taking us through all that sounds. Like TFR group is really helping educate lots of brands of of procurement teams of retailers about better ways to design and I guess fulfilled all the logistics and customer facing parts of dealing with mattresses and so on. So thank you very much.

Nick Oettinger  41:05

Thank you, Catherine. It’s been a pleasure.

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