When Katie, 29, and Georgie, 24, were suddenly confined to their Victorian terrace apartment in Camberwell, London in March 2020 because of You Know What, a focus on their inescapable home space brought some long-held frustrations to the surface. These had built up over many years of renting in the city and struggling to access stylish and sustainable second-hand homeware in an affordable, quick and convenient way.
“We struggled to find second-hand pieces we liked online and were forced to spend hours trawling through websites and marketplaces,” said co-founder Katie, a retail strategist who has worked for international homeware brands and in the public and private arts sector. “At this point we realised other people must be having the same issue and that there must be an easier solution. Not everyone has the time to go rummaging through thrift shops on weekends, especially when you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.”
And that’s how the seeds of Katie and Georgie’s start up, Hutch, were sown.
Alongside a love for good design, the company is driven by an environmental mission too. It’s estimated that 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded in the UK each year, most of which heads straight to landfill. Hutch will help facilitate a circular economy to reduce waste, fight “fast furniture” and connect people who care about our planet.
Co-founder Georgie, a sustainable business graduate working for a textile charity, heads up community engagement. “During lockdown we had the time and space to nurture the idea,” she said. “Since then, we have been building a community, talking with prospective buyers and sellers through Instagram and hours of interviews over Zoom.”
Hutch’s ethos is that great design has the power to transform how people live and feel. The company is made for all those who feel uninspired by cheap, mass-produced furniture but also lack the time to scroll endlessly through bric-a-brac to find hidden gems.
Hutch launched last month offering homeware products from a select group of 25 sellers, with plans to grow to 100 sellers within the first year. The website has been designed to make buying vintage as intuitive and enjoyable as buying new; enabling customers to browse curated collections and filter by room or style.
Community is in the brand’s DNA and the Hutch team continues to build its thriving online community through newsletters, a blog with monthly features, a seasonal e-magazine and social platforms.
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