When about to buy furniture but not wanting to spend a lot I bet most people think of IKEA. There is also the option of buying second hand, of course. But do you know about the affordable and sustainable quality option of Pakilan työkeskus (“work centre”)? Or Sovinto ry (?
Pakilan työkeskus is owned by Helsinki city and that is where old furniture from e.g. city daycares and offices are taken to be fixed up. There is qualified staff, carpenters etc, that together with people with reduced ability to work (some of them qualified too, some learning the work) fix up the furniture to be reused. They listen to the customer as well so you may eg decide what kind of fabric you want on your work chair. Or ask them to build something to you from scratch. The delivery times may be a bit longer but the quality is great. And when buying there you make a conscious choice to support the rehabilitative work and recycling. Pakilan työkeskus is on Jakokunnantie 26 – 28, 00660 Helsinki and open Monday-Friday 8am-3.45pm. Here you can find further information about the place in Finnish and here see some examples on what they do.
Sovinto ry in Roihuvuori is a different vocational school, where one can usually study for a maximum of one year, often on a raised dole. The teaching is done almost exclusively by working on customer orders, so the expectation is that one knows the field already when applying, and within a year one can prove their skill and get their qualifications. Sovinto ry has a few fields of study and one of them is wood work, where they mainly do small furniture. Other services that they offer for a relatively modest price but where getting the product may again take a bit longer are car and small engine repairs. For making an order to the carpenters, please be in contact with the teachers on 044-7097714.