Goldfinger Factory is an award-winning and sustainable design social enterprise with a bit of a difference.
Despite a name that might suggest a Bond villain-esque approach, the Big Issue Invest-backed social enterprise promises to “empower communities to turn waste into gold”.
To do that, they give one of London’s most underprivileged wards the skills to follow in their footsteps through the fabrication of furniture and interiors.
A team of artisans and artisans-in-the-making work on the ground floor of Erno Goldfinger’s iconic grade-II listed Trellick Tower to skillfully craft high-end furniture for John Lewis, Cisco and London Fashion Week among others.
But that is not the full story – with their base also offering a showroom, community café with a woodworking workshop and teaching academy.
Last year, 27,000 people worldwide earned an income selling street papers, making a total of £23.4 million.
That enables them to offer free workshops and training courses to develop the next generation of skilled artisans in everything from wood turning and metal spinning all the way up to high-standard commercial fit-outs.
This has given 1,031 participants from North Kensington, a notoriously underprivileged area in West London, the chance to join in with classes to learn the trick of the trade since Goldfinger Factory was founded by Oliver Waddington-Ball and Marie Cudennec in 2013.
The social enterprise has also trained six apprentice artisans aged 18-29 to work on making furniture full-time, while their monthly People’s Kitchen feasts have proved a hit – feeding 1,606 people for free with organic food made from surplus food.
The best of their work is available in The Big Issue Shop, from limited edition bento boxes and chopping boards to coasters. And there are plans afoot to launch some of Goldfinger Factory’s furniture collection in the autumn. Watch this space!
But there is no need to worry that Goldfinger Factory are felling trees to create their unique products – using waste materials and sustainably sourced new materials which have seen more than 302 million tonnes of material diverted from landfill.
And, best of all, a third of the distributable reserves will go to the community in the form of free building and training services to let Londoners grow and flourish, improving their career prospects.
See more from Goldfinger Factory in The Big Issue Shop here.