Second-hand furniture from JA Hotels and Resorts donated to the "Gver" community. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: More than 100 hardwood hotel furniture — coffee tables, chairs, cupboards — that were gathering dust in a UAE warehouse were given new purpose recently and have now made their way to new homes all free of charge.

Gver, a "marketplace" for sharing stuff for free in the UAE, has partnered with JA Hotels and Resorts to ‘breathe new life’ to hotel furniture that could still benefit individuals and families in the UAE.

4000

members of Gver, a UAE marketplace for sharing stuff for free

Gver has been on a mission since 2017 to encourage residents to embrace the culture of wasting less by opting for pre-loved goods for free, they just have to pay for delivery.

The peer-to-peer sharing platform has facilitated in giving away hundreds of goods like designer items, furniture, household items, baby items for just the price of the average courier and truck deliveries. It currently has more than 4,000 members from different communities in the UAE.

Gver encourages residents to embrace the culture of wasting less by opting for sharing pre-loved goods for free. Recipients only pay for delivery. Image Credit: Supplied

But this is the first time they are sending out over a hundred pieces of furniture from only one giver to scores of recipients around the UAE, said Lalaine Chu-Benitez, Founder and CEO of Gver and a sustainable-living advocate.

“All the furniture came from the hotel’s properties. In fact, I recognised some of them as the rustic charming pieces from Hatta Fort Hotel. Most of the furniture were sturdy hardwood pieces,” Chu-Benitez told Gulf News.

Gver, a "marketplace" for sharing stuff for free in the UAE, has partnered with JA Hotels and Resorts to ‘breathe new life’ to hotel furniture that could still benefit individuals and families in the UAE. Image Credit: Supplied

“They have been in the warehouse for some time so there were some flaws like scratches and they needed a good clean. But they can be restored with just a bit of care. Anybody with an eye for good quality furniture will be able to appreciate and use these,” she added.

Most of the requesters of the second-hand furniture — estimated to be worth around Dh25,000 — live in villas in gated communities around Dubai.

The biggest lot consisting of 12 pieces of furniture was given to one person.

Most of the furniture were sturdy hardwood pieces. Image Credit: Supplied

They have been in the warehouse for some time so there were some flaws like scratches and they needed a good clean. But they can be restored with just a bit of care. Anybody with an eye for good quality furniture will be able to appreciate and use these

- Lalaine Chu-Benitez, Founder and CEO of Gver

“With this exercise, we not only helped people to acquire useful pieces for just the price of delivery, we were also able to help the hotel lessen their inventory of items to be discarded, which for them takes up warehousing cost, not to mention manpower.”

Mark Irwin, Resort Manager at JA The Resort, said the hotel group had partnered with charitable organisations in the past but realised that a huge chunk of their donation was eaten up in administration costs. But in this partnership with Gver, everything went directly to the recipients.

Logistically, it is always very awkward and time consuming to have to store old furniture and storage space is at a premium for any hotel. We can’t keep things for the sake of keeping. So we have to know when it is time to let it go and find a new home for all those items that can still be used.

- Mark Irwin, Resort Manager at JA The Resort

Irwin said the average life of a hotel guest room is eight years. A lot of planning goes into refurbishments, including taking into consideration upcycling or recycling the old or unwanted furniture.

Finding a partner who can organise to hand them all over and know that they will find a good home was key, he said.

Second-hand furniture from JA Hotels and Resorts donated to the Gver community. Image Credit: Supplied

“Sometimes, a simpler model of sharing could provide everybody a solution that’s good for the heart, good for the wallet and good for the environment,” said Chu-Benitez.

HOW IT WORKS:

  • Sign-up for free at Gver and start posting your personal items for free.
  • The same rule applies to anyone who wants to get items for free.
  • Once you find something you fancy, send a request note to the owner and he or she can decide to give it to you. You will only need to pay delivery of the items.