Whistles x Goldfinger Factory
It's nice to be nice
This season we commissioned Goldfinger Factory, the award-winning London design studio and social enterprise, to create wooden Christmas trees for our festive window displays. The studio is a teaching platform for less advantaged young people in the local community, empowering them with traditional craftsmanship skills and helping to foster an inclusive environment.
A total of 610 sustainable plywood Christmas trees were crafted and hand-painted by their team of expert makers, trainees and volunteers from the local area, finished on-site in the Goldfinger Teaching Academy; situated in the ground floor of Golborne Road’s iconic grade-II listed Trellick Tower.
The trees can be purchased throughout November and December from any of our standalone stores in exchange for a small donation to Goldfinger Factory, allowing them to continue their important and impactful community work.
MEET MARIE CUDENNEC, CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF GOLDFINGER FACTORY
Sum up Goldfinger Factory’s mission in one sentence...
Goldfinger Factory is a design-led social enterprise in West London. We create sustainable furniture and homewares, with a Teaching Academy for the local community; sharing skills in traditional craftsmanship and reclaiming materials that would have otherwise gone to waste.
What role does design play in bringing people together?
People are attracted to beauty, so well-designed spaces and objects definitely have the power to bring people together.
“Waste is a man-made concept - if you look at nature it doesn’t exist - so for us at Goldfinger Factory waste is just a resource in the wrong hands.”
Explain the link between the name Goldfinger Factory and Trellick Tower...
The Trellick Tower was designed by Hungarian-born modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger. Renowned for his Brutalist architecture, he built a house in Hampstead which irked his neighbours, one of whom was James Bond author Ian Fleming. Fleming decided to take his revenge on Goldfinger by naming the titular ‘baddie’ in his book after him.
Goldfinger Factory is located at the foot of Trellick Tower. True to our name – just as Goldfinger was the man with the midas touch – we turn waste into gold.
Can you tell us about your Community Cafe?
Our Community Cafe was always part of the vision for Goldfinger Factory. We run it as a food incubation platform, where we offer local chefs and food entrepreneurs subsidised rent to run their restaurant there – serving delicious, affordable food in our cafe everyday. In exchange for this incubation service, they host a monthly soup kitchen called The People’s Kitchen which is a community feast cooked from surplus food, for local residents to come and enjoy a warm nutritious meal at zero cost.
How else does Goldfinger Factory support the local area?
We offer paid apprenticeships in carpentry and joinery, as well as marketing and business functions, to support young people from the local area on a path to full time employment.
What are the three key values that underpin everything that Goldfinger Factory does?
Sustainability, inclusivity, beauty – everything we aim to create is beautiful. There is a quote by Italian chef Massimo Bottura which I love that says “ethics and aesthetics are two sides of the same coin. Beauty without good isn’t beautiful at all. And good needs beauty to convey its message.”
Greatest success story?
Our greatest success story is Jason, our local apprentice who lives in Trellick Tower, who always dreamed of becoming a maker and is now getting an accredited qualification at the Building Crafts College.
Do you believe design can bring people together?
Of course, especially sustainable design. We are one interconnected planet and the only way we’re going to address climate change and social inequality is if we all work together on this.
What is your advice for anyone wanting to make an impact on their community?
Buy food that is grown locally to support your local farmers’ market, get behind stores that promote sustainability and volunteer in a local community organisation.
How has Goldfinger personally impacted your life?
Since I started Goldfinger Factory 6 years ago, it’s certainly got me to think about how I can live more sustainably. I’ve learnt so much from all the amazing people I’ve met along the way committed to the same cause.
“One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is the constant learning curve.”
How would you sum up the general atmosphere at Goldfinger Factory?
Happy and like a family. We are at a great stage in our development. We are a small team that punches above our weight, and over the years we’ve bonded in bringing our vision to life. It really feels like a family when I walk in here every day.
How is the Whistles Christmas window project supporting Goldfinger Factory?
It feels great to be joining with Whistles to show the world that even Christmas can be sustainable. I think a lot of people now want to live more sustainably but they don’t always know where they can go or where to start. This collaboration with Whistles is a great way to get the word out about Goldfinger Factory’s work. And you can support us and our work by buying the Christmas trees from any Whistles shop.
“Whistles has been so innovative in creating sustainable Christmas windows because they’re selling them on to their customers afterwards. What a bold and important move to encourage a sustainable Christmas.”
Drop into any of our standalone stores to pledge an amount to Goldfinger Factory and take home one of our bespoke Whistles x Goldfinger Factory trees today.
Small trees: £10, Medium trees: £20, Large trees: £30
minimum donation amount: £10
All proceeds generated will be sent direct to Goldfinger Factory to be invested in line with their overall company mission, contributing towards the running of subsidised craft workshops for the local community, and apprenticeship programmes for young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
Find out more about Goldfinger Factory here.