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All Small Things (AST)

All Small Things graduated from Cambridge Social Ventures in July 2016.

All Small Things (AST), an online retailer, provides essential pre-owned furniture at affordable prices. Based near Milton Keynes, we believe that AST has the potential to roll out regionally, positively impacting the lives of more people who find it difficult to make ends meet as well as promoting recycling and ethical consumerism.

Idea

AST was created by Lyndsey Latarche to provide essential household items that people on low incomes, or in challenging domestic circumstances, really need, at prices they can afford.

Having worked for a major UK charity for six years selling pre-owned items and taking over £10k a week, Lyndsey witnessed first-hand the effect charity shops raising prices had on those most in need of such items.

"There is a real trend for charity shops to change their business concept, leading to their goods becoming less affordable. As a result, the people their affordable pre-owned goods were helping have become a target for extortionate hire purchase companies, such as Bright House.

"I began to think: 'Hang on a minute, these people are coming in because they can't afford to buy elsewhere. They know we get our stuff donated and all of a sudden we're whacking our prices up by 50 per cent.' It just didn't sit well with me and I wanted to do something to redress the balance," she explains.

Lyndsey did do something. She set up AST. As well as targeting people from deprived backgrounds or low incomes, Lyndsey is developing trend inspired product lines to appeal to ethical consumers and to people who believe that new is not necessarily better.

"Regardless of our customers' domestic circumstances, we are really focused on recycling and challenging the throwaway attitude to consumerism that exists today. There really is so much more we can do with these items some members of society are throwing away to help those members of society that need them," advises Lyndsey.

Attracting ethical consumers enables Lyndsey to develop other product ranges too, proceeds of which will enable AST to meet its core objective, offering more to those most in need.

"So, as well as recycled products we'll be providing eco products. Anyone walking into our unit or buying online from us can be absolutely certain that the story behind any product they buy from us is an eco-story: from leather satchels to washing lines and pegs, we're buying ethically," concludes Lyndsey.

Entrepreneur

Lyndsey thoroughly enjoyed her previous work for a major UK charity retail chain. During her six years there, as well as selling furniture and other goods, she managed volunteers and people coming for work experience. AST intends to integrate such a scheme into AST as the venture grows.

Impact

AST's goal is to become the ultimate hub of sustainability in Milton Keynes, accessible by everyone interested in ethical buying and supporting their local community.

In achieving this, AST will positively impact society in four ways:

  • Providing essential items at affordable prices to people that come from low income or deprived families
  • Focusing on sustainability and recycling, ensuring waste reduction
  • Helping people who are not in employment to retrain, build confidence and skills, enabling them to find a pathway into employment
  • Promoting conscientious buying habits, encouraging people to think about where their money is going and what and who it is supporting
Lyndsey Latarche

Get in touch

Lyndsey is interested in connecting with any governmental or non-governmental organisations working with people in need of affordable household items, especially if they can offer funding or physical space to AST.

latarche@allsmallthings.net

Tel: +44 (0)7469 352182

allsmallthings.net