Features Ed Blog: Loved Before Teddies

SYSTEM © loved before teddies

In this week’s issue, we’ve got a feature about Loved Before and their “loved before teddies”.

“Changing the world one soft toy at a time” is how founder Charlotte Liebling describes the company. I won’t give away the whole article, but you can guess it’s about donated toys getting a second lease of life (after a clean)!

It’s such a lovely idea. And Charlotte’s attitude is that it’s a way to open up the conversation about our approach to stuff.

Nobody likes throwing something away because one part of it is broken, or because we can’t use it any more. But not many of us know where to go when things do break or we no longer need them.

We have some great initiatives here in Fife and Dundee.

There are at least three social enterprise-style establishments that take second-hand furniture, clothes, electrical goods – all sorts – and re-sell at reasonable prices.

We’ve also got a big antiques centre just down the road, and although some of the items may seem expensive, they’re really not much more than buying first-hand. Plus they come with history – sometimes a couple of hundred years’ worth of it!

We’ve used both the Re-users and the antiques centre to deck out our home. J

ust behind me now is a chunky two-seater, made out of about 30 kilos of gorgeous wood. It’s arguably the most comfortable seat in the house, and is quite beautiful. It cost us £10!

A second life

Charlotte’s toys often have a fascinating and emotional back story with their previous owners.

loved before teddies

Photo courtesy of Loved Before London.

With a nearly two-year-old son in the house, and a wee girl on the way, I’ve had to come to terms with passing on my soft toys.

In particular, Edward Bonkins, who I was very attached to once. I still remember my friend Jamie taking him and throwing him up in the air. I was raging!

My son prefers to chew his nose, but that’s OK – it’s his now.

He’s also got my nan’s knitted SuperTed. Plus my wife’s giant panda. Poor panda was getting a bit droopy, but was enthusiastically re-stuffed by her parents, and now sits bolt upright!

The Next Generation

It’s always lovely to pass something on to the next generation. Do let us know if anything has come down through your family, or that you’ve passed on!

And if you want to contribute to Loved Before, have a look at their donation page!

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Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.