Two men from Toronto have made a vow to keep over one million pounds of used furniture out of the landfills before the end of 2021 by helping clients rid their homes of furniture and housewares they no longer want, and selling the used items at a fraction of the cost to help reduce waste on the planet.
The name of their company is Someware, located at 240 Bartor Road in North York. Founders Stuart Grodinsky and James Prince started the business just over a year ago and have already saved over 100,000 pounds of second-hand furniture from ending up in local landfills.
The company focuses on clients who don’t have the means or time to properly dispose of old furniture, and often work with independent home organizers, estate sales and suppliers.
Their mission is to encourage homeowners to help reduce carbon footprint by furnishing their home or cottage with local second-hand household items, thus helping to divert ‘great condition’ pieces of furniture from the dump.
“Over 1 billion pounds of furniture goes to landfills in Canada every single year,” states Prince. “We’re trying to put a stop to that.”
“We have custom-made, high-end furniture that lived in a mansion,” adds Grodinsky. “A lot of people just want the items gone.”
The men say they have collected couches, beds, chairs, tables, and houseware items like glassware, pots and pans, and appliances from all rooms; kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and dining room.
All items go through a screening process before collection to ensure there is no bugs, smoke, or water damage (and they also offer additional sanitization and professional steam cleaning for extra peace of mind for new buyers).
Once assessed, the items are organized and displayed in their giant 7000-square-foot warehouse for an easy one-stop-shop for customers. Their goal is to sell furniture and housewares everyday to help make even a small ‘dent’ in climate change.
“The amount of stuff we have covers things as small as a $10 table to a $2,000 new bed and frame – perfect for cottagers or first-time home buyers,” suggests Prince.
“When you think about carbon footprint, where you’re spending the most amount of money is where the largest carbon footprint will be,” explains Grodinsky. “You could be getting furniture from China or somewhere overseas. Where it comes from has a negative impact on climate change – the closer something is to you for purchase, the less carbon footprint.”
Introduced through a classmate of Grodinsky’s, the men found they shared a passion for online buying and selling through Kijiji and Craigslist, and both have been attending live auctions their whole lives.
“We’re very aware of the industry,” shares Grodinsky. “There’s been lots of people selling items to make extra cash right now, especially during the pandemic. The frictions or challenges to that are you must pay in cash, the person may or may not show up, you may encounter bargaining, and there’s (usually) no delivery – so we wanted to make it easier for someone who wanted to access second-hand furniture.”
The name Someware stemmed after hearing the word ‘wares’ too often while screening a client’s house items, and intertwined with the idea that the items needed ‘somewhere to go’.
“We want people to be excited to put stuff back into the system – keep your item for someone else to use. It may not be new to you, but it might be new to someone else," he explained.
Someware is a proud member of the DMZ Accelerator Centre in Innisfil where the business is incorporated. The DMZ is a world-leading top tech incubator program that helps build startup business ideas while fostering long-lasting connections with other entrepreneurs.
“They were (and are) incredibly supportive,” notes Grodinsky about the DMZ. “We were going to run our original business up there (Innisfil)… but as it evolved, Toronto made more sense.”
To preview up to just 20% of inventory online from the warehouse, visit www.buysomeware.com or book an appointment to visit in person.
The warehouse is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For viewing outside of these hours, Someware can accommodate through a private booking.
“Every purchase gives us the funds and floorspace to go save more – we turn away houses constantly because of the number of calls we get is through the roof. The more people that can buy, the more it helps us save.”