Sustainable UCL


The Federation of Rescued Kitchenware: UCL alumni give new life to unwanted kitchenware

2 December 2015

The FORK team

The Federation of Rescued Kitchenware (or F.O.R.K.) is a new social enterprise that provides kitchen starter kits to students in London. F.O.R.K. aims to reduce waste and encourage reuse, all while making students’ start at university a little easier.

Around 50% of the UK’s waste still ends up in landfill each year. And among the mountains of rubbish, there are heaps of unwanted (yet perfectly usable) items – including loads of high-quality kitchenware. The idea behind F.O.R.K. is simple. Working closely with universities and reuse organisations in London, they rescue high quality, second hand kitchenware before it reaches landfill and clean and repackage the items into student starter kits that contain everything a student needs to start cooking.

Ines Stelk, UCL graduate and one of the co-founders of F.O.R.K explained the scheme:

"As recent sustainability alumni ourselves, we wanted to do something about this massive waste problem, but we were also more than familiar with the challenges new students face when arriving in London; wanting to make new friends, explore the city, find a fun society to join and settle into the new course. We knew that getting set up with student essentials like kitchenware isn’t high on the priority list. Unless in catered halls or blessed with generous flatmates, rushed trips to supermarkets, take-away food and endless wandering through the maze that is IKEA often follow - all just to pick up basics like plates and cutlery. We wanted to find a better solution to getting affordable kitchenware - that’s how the Federation of Rescued Kitchenware was born!"

The contents of a F.O.R.K starter kit

The first F.O.R.K. boxes have already found their way into new student homes. At a UCL Bring-and-Buy sale in September, the team found themselves surrounded by new students keen to save time and money and source their kitchenware in a convenient way (with the added benefit of being more sustainable).

Having sold out in only 30 minutes at UCL, F.O.R.K. are keen to continue their mission of helping good quality kitchenware bypass the bins. And going by their first F.O.R.K. sale at least, it seems like UCL students are too!

Missed F.O.R.K. in September? It’s not too late – they'll be back at UCL in January 2016. Find out more and pre-order your box on the F.O.R.K. website, like F.O.R.K. on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.