Zurich business cuts cost of designer lifestyle

Designer furniture doesn't come cheap, but that doesn't mean it's inaccessible to those who are short of cash. One Zurich company is bringing cutting-edge design to the city's less-affluent design lovers.

This content was published on July 20, 2000 minutes

In Switzerland's biggest city, Zurich, traditional Swiss chalet-type furniture is definitely out. What the style-conscious Zurich resident wants these days is cutting-edge design.

But young design lovers seldom have the cash to pay designer prices, and that's where Design Recycling has stepped in to fill a gap in the market.

Fifteen months ago, Marcus Cella and Adrian Berkhardt started selling designer furniture, but with a crucial difference. Their business is concerned with finding second hand furniture design classics, cleaning them up and selling them at discount prices to the big stores.

Designer style has long been a passion of Cella and Berkhardt, who are both still under 30. "When I was smaller I always went to flea markets to find designer items and then I also used to go there to sell things as well," Berkhardt told swissinfo.

However, for most Zurich residents finding the time to hunt through markets in the hope of picking up a bargain is almost as difficult as finding the money to buy designer furniture. And that's where Design Recycling really comes into its own.

"Swiss people like good quality furniture, so we sell this type of furniture but at a discount to the usual designer stores," said Marcus Cella.

Working through house sales, markets, auction and surplus stock from designer furniture stores, Design Recycling isn't short of material.

In its Raffelstrasse showroom one can find items of furniture from as far back as the 1920s, but the style in all cases is most definitely modern with sleek lines and impressive surfaces.

"It's also an investment for people. Buying in our store for half price or a little bit more is definitely an investment as these pieces don't lose money after you buy them," said Cella.

With two stores in Zurich, Design Recycling has found a niche in the local market, and offers a fine example of how a passion for designer furniture can be turned into a profitable business.

by Tom O'Brien

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