Junk makeover show. At the tip, Sarah Moore saves three things from being dumped and transforms them into bespoke and valuable pieces.
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-Can I have a little rummage around in your rubbish?
How do you make money for nothing?
I love that.
The answer could be hiding in the 30 million tonnes
of household waste we throw out every year.
So heavy. They don't make them like this any more. Look at that.
That's why entrepreneur Sarah Moore wants to get her hands on things
before they hit the skip.
I'm a passionate maker, buyer and user of old stuff,
and I've turned that passion into a money-making business.
I make new stuff out of old stuff and I sell it for a profit.
And with some of the country's elite designers and makers...
Say something nice about it.
My juices are flowing in this one. They are going to be wow.
..she can transform her finds into desirable...
Isn't that stunning?
..and, hopefully, saleable items.
That is bonkers.
If Sarah is successful, then she can hand the profits back
to the very people who had no idea
there was cash to be made from their trash.
Got, um, £350.
Today we're at the recycling centre in Walsall,
where Sarah is searching for those ever elusive hidden gems.
Old cardboard, decimated flat-pack
and polystyrene are not going to cut it.
I'm after those solid pieces I can attach a serious price tag to.
She's been given special permission to ransack the rubbish,
and she's on a mission to find two items
that can be brought back to life and sold on for a profit.
And the first thing Sarah spots today is a vision in red
in Zia's car.
-Getting rid of the sofa?
-Yes, we are, yeah.
-Oh, it's a chair.
I thought it was a sofa.
Is it...? It's yours? You're just chucking it out?
-It looks in really good condition.
-It is, but the springs have gone.
The chair is a red herring.
It's the red leather that's caught Sarah's eye.
The price tag on leather goods is growing.
Repurposing the leather from this sofa could be a real money-maker.
I think what I might do is just take the cushions away.
I think I should be able to get enough material out of those,
and then recycle the chair, if that's all right.
-Cos those are some really lovely cushions.
I think it would be great to take those away, if you don't mind.
What does Zia think of Sarah scarpering with his cushions?
Hopefully, somebody can get some use out of it
rather than just throwing it in the rubbish bin and go to landfill.
Now, there is just heaps of leather in these cushions.
I really want to see what it's like on the inside
but I can't do that without ripping... Oh, no, look.
OK, so, it's a sort of pink suede on the inside.
I'm thinking maybe this would make, you know,
loads of handbags out of this, or maybe even a coat.
Really good find cos there's just heaps of potential
with what we've got here.
And Sarah knows just the man
to turn all that potential into profit.
When you think bags, think Neil Wragg.
From salvaged unwanted materials,
Neil creates everything from handbags to haversacks,
and prides himself on the fact that his handmade bespoke bags
will last a lifetime.
I love being able to create something
from what would be rubbish, I suppose, to other people.
You could have, for example, a tent that was at Glastonbury
and saw the Rolling Stones and then now it becomes a bag,
and it's seen quite a life already.
But will Neil be able to raise the old leather cushions
from the dead too?
One item down, one still to find.
The weather's taken a turn for the worse,
but I'm not going to let that dampen my sunny disposition.
Will Jamie and dad, Jeff, brighten Sarah's day?
-Whose is that then?
My nan's, it was.
Oh, really? That is a fantastic sofa.
-So, you just...
-In the skip.
I think it looks amazing. I like everything about it.
The style of it, the fabric's really retro.
It's a good size. Not too big.
And it's got that kind of
retro look that people are stuffing into their houses again,
-so if you let me have it, that would make my day.
Absolutely love it.
It looks to me like Sarah might be putting
passion before profit on this one.
-Jamie, thanks so much for letting me have that.
That's absolutely made my day. I love it.
Wow. That's going to take some work.
I have got the most amazing upholsterer lined up.
They are original, funky.
They're going to breathe new life into this
and there's going to be money to be made.
Welcome to the world of Anthony Devine.
Anthony's unique and quirky upholstery
has earned him the reputation as one of the most imaginative
Anthony can upholster almost anything,
but he loves a good chair.
Some chairs you just know.
You know that this is the one
and you just know you're onto a winner.
You can look beyond the kind of dirt and the holes and the grime
and you think, "Yes, we've got a gem here,"
and then it's a matter of teaming it up with the right fabric.
And then from ugly ducklings arrive beautiful swans.
Well, Anthony, can you transform this into a beautiful swan?
Sarah has secured both items.
Neil will repurpose the red leather.
And Anthony will get busy bringing the old-fashioned sofa
It never ceases to amaze me what people throw away.
I'm so pleased I was here today to save a couple of pieces
that I think are dumped diamonds that'll bring home big bucks.
Nestled between Salford and Manchester
is master upholsterer Anthony Devine's workshop.
He's got an amazing track record of transforming crumpled couches
into sexy sofas.
When the doors are opened and you get the first glimpse,
you see one and you just know you're onto a winner.
-Some things just kind of click.
You brought a sofa.
-Tell me you love it.
-I love it.
-Let's get it in. Let's do the business.
Yes. Now you're listening to what I want.
Anthony clearly wants very strange things.
-It's not too heavy.
-Oh, this is perfect.
This is one of my favourite finds.
I love it. I love it, love it, love it.
There is just something about it.
The '70s-ness of it is oozing out of it.
It's like a Star Wars sofa.
I'm not sure oozing is a desirable trait in a discarded sofa.
Everything has to be thread-perfect on it
if we're looking at the penthouse.
OK. So, this is now going to be called the penthouse sofa.
Yeah, just don't tell its glamorous new owners
that it was nearly the skip sofa when they buy it.
Now, colours, design. Bear with me on this.
I know. Go on.
I'm thinking quartz pink, rose quartz. It's bang on trend.
It works beautifully with gold.
I think it would look beautiful in it.
What do you think?
Anthony's clearly delighted.
-Can't hold back his enthusiasm...
-..for Sarah's artistic vision.
Don't worry, Anthony.
Sarah knows exactly what she's doing.
But can she afford it?
I'm thinking around the 1,250 mark.
We'd give enough good fabric and it gives me enough to be able
to put everything back and make a little bit for me.
Wow. With that huge budget,
the pressure is going to be on for Anthony to deliver.
This is where we're aiming at. We're up there.
-Yeah, the suite.
In the suite, penthouse suite. There you go.
Loving your work. Oh, I've done it again!
This one I really like.
Between you and me, I'm a big fan of this one.
That really is one of my favourite skip finds.
Anthony has taken on board some of the things I've suggested,
and I'm just hoping that I've made the right call on it.
I'm just going to enjoy making it
rather than kind of selecting the fabrics and the outcome of it.
With labour costs of £1,000 and another 250 for fabric,
Sarah will be expecting something pretty spectacular
for her 1,250 spend.
I hope Anthony can pull it off, regardless of the colour.
Sarah's next stop is Marlow near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire,
where Neil Wragg is on a mission to rescue pretty much anything,
from offcuts to inner tubes,
and turn them into beautiful handcrafted bags.
Sarah is coming today, and we shall see what she brings.
Hopefully, it'll be something I can sew together
that doesn't break too many needles.
You know, it's very difficult making a bag from paving slabs.
You're in luck, Neil.
They're not made of concrete, and she's not after much.
Now, in my wildest dreams,
I would like these tired, red sofa cushions
turned into a whole range of designer luggage.
I hope Neil likes a challenge.
Yeah, me too.
-Hi. Hi, Sarah. How are you doing?
I'm really well. I've got presents for you.
Right. I'm a little worried.
There's loads here, aren't there?
Right, well, we've got some funky red cushions.
One, two, three, four, five.
Do you know something,
I thought there was more than enough here
to make something out of,
so you must be able to make a purse out of this lot, Neil.
-I think we can do more than a carrier bag, yeah.
So, we're game on for a bag then, you reckon?
Yes. You've brought be something that I can sew and it's not alive.
I absolutely love the messenger bags that you make,
so I was wondering about maybe one of those out of it.
-And a big, usable, expensive weekend bag out of it.
OK, well, we can do that as well.
But the idea is that things would last a lifetime,
so we've got a good start with the fabric.
I love what you're saying because this has already had its life,
so now if we can make luggage out of it,
another 50 years of wear, that's brilliant.
Phew. That went better than expected.
Neil seems pretty unflappable, but there's always a snag.
I'm worried that it's not as saleable in this colour,
so I'm wondering if you've ever dyed stuff before
or if you think you might be able to make it a bit more stylish,
a bit darker, a bit richer.
We can give it a go.
Not the most confidence-inspiring answer from Neil.
I'm not sure dying is something he's keen on.
So, I think I'm sold.
I've got a messenger bag on one shoulder,
I've got beautiful, scrunchy, rich-looking holdall on the other.
-How much is that going to cost me to make me two of those?
We're looking at £95 for the messenger bag
and then the holdall, we could say the same thing.
Thank you ever so much. I hope the dying goes well.
-Part of the journey.
Well, that is another load of old rubbish off my mind
and into Neil's.
And if he gets it right, I shall be making bags of money.
It wouldn't be Sarah if there wasn't something awkward.
She wants me to recolour it, so that's going to be the challenge.
So, we'll see.
That's £95 for Neil's tried and tested messenger bag design,
and the same again for a completely new holdall design.
In total, that's £190 committed.
With a new dying technique to master
and some worn-out leather to work with,
I do hope Neil can pull it off.
In Manchester, Anthony is having a rip-roaring time with the sofa
with partner, Susie, and daughter, Poppy, watching on.
The plan is to finish it in this season's luxury pink
and sell it for millions.
Luckily, Anthony enjoys this bit.
To be honest, stripping is never a chore.
Crikey. I thought this was a child-friendly show.
I think this one is trying to warn us.
With its innards exposed,
Anthony can get a good look at its bottom.
This has probably had thousands of hours of people sitting on it,
and, you know, looks all good.
Nicely intact. Things were just built to last.
Until you get your hands on them, Anthony.
It doesn't look great.
Most people will be thinking, "Oh, my God. Look."
But this is how a sofa looks.
Let's hide those ragged bits of wooden springs ASAP.
First, Anthony covers the base with hessian
and then glues new foam onto the arms.
Starting with one of the arms,
Anthony is making a base layer of calico shaped to fit snugly.
This bit is kind of critical, really.
This was the one that provides the shape -
almost the foundations for putting the top fabric on
and the overall look.
I'm sure Sarah will be tickled pink with the progress.
So, the fabric's arrived.
I can't wait to see that specific shade of rose quartz
Sarah was going on about.
We were struggling to find the rose pink quartz,
so we just decided to go for this more subtle bright gold all over.
Clearly a new definition of the word subtle.
Sarah knows nothing about this at this stage,
and she is probably going to kill me.
I think Sarah might go from pink to incandescent crimson
when she hears about this.
This is going to go in here, like so.
Then we have to sew a piece of piping around here, like so,
and then sew the actual arm itself,
pull it on and hopefully that'll be as crisp as a cucumber.
Are cucumbers crisp?
Yeah, I'd say so.
With a lot still to do, Anthony's going for gold.
You are going to work, arm. You are going to work.
You're a very naughty boy.
I think it'll be you that gets a spanking
when Sarah hears about the new colour scheme.
Yeah. That's what I mean by...
..as crisp as a cucumber.
It may be crisp, but it's not exactly what Sarah's expecting.
an even bigger problem with the material presents itself.
I've put a halt on the sofa.
It's starting to show scuffs I'm a little bit concerned about
for the strength of the fabric.
It's unfortunate and it's a decision
I don't want to take, but I really think
we're going to have to try and think of something new on this one.
I thought that gold finish was something new.
But with Sarah after the top end of the market,
a scuffed finish isn't really going to cut the mustard.
Back to the drawing board, Anthony.
In Marlow, Neil is getting to grips with all that lovely red leather
that he's transforming into a messenger bag and holdall.
First, Neil cuts the leather to his ready-made templates.
Sometimes it's quite cool to keep these seams in
so that it looks like it was a sofa.
Sarah has also asked for the leather to be transformed
from its current red to a darker colour black.
Neil paints an oil-based dye
directly onto the surface of the leather.
He'll then leave it to dry between coats.
Get a few coats buffered up and finish it off with some cream.
With the leather now ready, Neil is choosing and cutting
parts of the Scout tent canvas he's using for lining.
You don't know where it's already been.
It could've been a tent that saw the Stones at Glastonbury.
It could've been a tent that has done a trek to the Himalayas.
You don't want to lose their personality,
so we might keep in some of the old writing or labels.
We can keep some of these in. Makes it look very tent-like.
I have to use the clips cos you can't use pins with leather,
cos you'll end up with holes all over the place.
I'm sewing everything inside out, so there's no stitching being shown.
So, this is the body of the bag.
See, if you've sewn everything upside down,
back to front.
We've got one pocket there, which is obviously the old tent.
One pocket there for your tablet.
One pocket there for your mobile phone.
Better get on the next phase.
That messenger bag needs a covering flap.
And he still has to make the holdall,
something he's never done before.
I need to attach it to the top...
..first, and then I can turn it right side out afterwards.
Shall we just leave him to it?
In Manchester, Anthony has had a very long night
putting the final touches onto what was an old blue sofa
and then went gold for a bit.
It's anyone's guess what colour it is now.
I think Sarah is going to love it.
And you know, on this one, I might have even pleased her
because it'll be exactly what she's asked for,
and that's just not like me at all.
Sarah's invested heavily in this one, Anthony.
I hope you've done the right thing.
I am so excited to see what Anthony has done with that sad '70s sofa.
If he's realised its potential,
it should be a fantastic interior design piece by now.
Sarah asked Anthony to transform
a dilapidated old settee from the '60s
into a bang-on-trend penthouse sofa.
It's now a delicious rose quartz vision.
Anthony has given it clean lines
and improved its proportions with a single raised cushion.
He's added sumptuous piping detailing on the arms,
and with flashes of gold on the buttons,
he's created exactly the penthouse sofa Sarah was looking for.
Oh, my word.
Isn't it amazing?
Where's the enthusiasm? Look at it.
-Sorry, I've been up all night.
-Look at it!
-Beautiful. I love the little gold touches.
-Just a little hint.
A little bit.
A hint, Anthony? Anything to confess?
There was going to be a lot more gold.
We were going to have this all over.
We got the arm on,
we got all the front done and then we had to call a halt
because it just wasn't stable enough.
And Sarah breathes a huge sigh of relief.
Whatever trauma you've been through, I think it's worth it.
-This is stunning.
-I wouldn't say that.
And just as a little reminder, we also have a...
-But the problem is you'd have just slipped off it.
Wouldn't that have been the same, though,
if the sofa had been in gold?
Oh, it looked amazing.
Despite the whole experiment in gold,
Anthony has also managed to bring the sofa in on budget too.
I'm really pleased I've come here, and it is pink, and it worked out.
I'm going to shake your hand,
and I would like you to properly say...
Well done. I'm so pleased. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Sarah. Thank you.
It was all worth it in the end, Anthony.
Wow. That kind of transformation makes a long workday at the tip
And I know Anthony is not pleased it's not covered in lame,
but as far as I'm concerned,
rose quartz means I'm going to be sitting on a gold mine.
I just can't believe it's gone from the back of a car
to looking like it should be on the front page of a magazine.
-Sarah swooped in on Jamie and his dad...
..to rescue a threadbare sofa.
-Jamie, thanks so much for letting me have that.
-She suggested Anthony turn it pink...
-..and after just a little dithering...
..he did exactly that.
Now Sarah is back in Walsall to update Jamie and Jeff
on what became of the dilapidated sofa.
-How are you both?
-I'm fine, thanks. I'm fine.
So, you were clearing out things from your mother's house, right?
That's right. That's right, yes. She had an accident. A bad fall.
She's been in the nursing home now for several months.
She was quite happy for it to go to the tip, so that's where it went.
-Would you like to see some pictures of how it ended up?
-Take a deep breath, OK?
-Go on, then. Oh, blimey.
-Do you recognise that?
-Does it look like the sofa you remember?
-Nothing like it.
Now, I've shared it and I've had lots of interest in it,
-but I haven't managed to sell it yet.
But I think there is a buyer out there who's going to love that,
and I just need a little bit more time and then hopefully
I'll be back in touch with some profit to share with you.
It isn't about the money anyway. You've done something with it.
It's sad going to landfill or being burned.
-Mum will be delighted when she sees that.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
-Lovely to see you again.
-Thank you. Bye-bye.
With Anthony's labour and materials
coming in at over £1,200 and no sale,
that equals a substantial potential loss of £1,250.
But once that certain buyer with deep pockets has been found,
Sarah will be back with a profit for Jamie and Jeff.
In Marlow, Neil has transformed
those old red leather cushions into bags.
I've enjoyed it.
It's been nice to get a really high-quality finish product
from fairly challenging leather.
I'm back in Marlow to pick up hopefully some high-end luggage,
but I have been a little bit anxious
because the materials I left Neil with were anything but high-end.
Sarah left Neil with some unsightly and worn red cushions,
hoping he could make some luggage.
They are now two beautiful handcrafted bags.
Neil has carefully dyed the leather to give the bags a high-end sheen.
The messenger bag has been dyed black and has pockets galore,
incorporating charming details from the Scout tents he's used as lining.
And that holdall, now a dark brown, is almost indestructible
with sturdy straps and reinforced corners.
Sarah's got to be impressed with these, Neil.
Here they are.
So, we have what they started off as and what they finished up as.
Neil, they are amazing.
-Good. I'm glad you like them.
-I'm blown away. Honestly.
It was fun.
The transformation, the dyeing, the changing of the colour.
The leather is good enough quality, so it's made a decent bag.
It's actually a work of art. I'm crying. Don't look at me.
Sarah is delighted with Neil's craftsmanship,
but has he blown the budget?
Even though there was some extra designing
and some extra dyeing to do, it was straightforward,
so they've come within budget.
I shall have no problem selling those.
Thank you so much. They are just brilliant.
It was a pleasure.
I could not have been more surprised and delighted
with what Neil has managed to produce -
two stunning bags on budget.
I didn't expect her to be quite so emotional
about a pair of leather bags,
but she seemed to be really pleased with them.
At the recycling centre, Zia's leather armchair
was being put out to pasture,
and his ideas for it were lacking imagination.
Any ideas what we might make out of them?
Uh, I think cushions would be a nice easy option.
But Sarah had bigger ideas for Neil to implement.
He gave the old leather a new life as luggage.
They were soon bagged by Nick and Kim,
who run vintage and retro retailer Smithers of Stamford.
-What do you reckon?
-Yeah, I like them. I love the stitching.
Yeah, apparently it was made from an old sofa, a leather sofa.
Now Sarah is back in the Midlands with some cash for Zia.
-Zia, lovely to see you again.
-Nice to see you again.
-How are you?
-I'm very well, thank you.
Now, I last saw you at the tip and you were dropping off
your old sofa cushions.
-Had you had the sofa for ages?
-Around six or seven years.
Obviously, we were about to dispose of it.
Quite interesting to see what you've done with it.
They went off to a lovely guy called Neil in Marlow.
He specialises in making bags from refound materials.
I've got some pictures here of what he made.
-I want to see what do you think.
That's amazing. It looks nothing like the cushions we gave you.
He made a messenger bag and a going away bag.
That's absolutely amazing.
I'd never have imagined they'd turn out like that.
And we have actually sold those two bags,
and I've got some profit that I'd like to share with you.
Thank you very much.
So, I've got £60 here to give to you that came from those bags.
-Thank you very much.
-So, that's... Absolute pleasure.
Is there anything that £60 is needed for at the moment?
I think I'll treat the kids, really.
-They just got back from school, so we'll give them a treat.
-Thank you so much for your time today.
-No, you're welcome.
-Take care. Bye-bye.
Well, I think Zia was quite surprised
with what we did with his old cushions.
And as a transformation, I think it would be difficult
to beat sofa into luxury luggage.
Neil charged a total of £190 for labour and materials for the bags.
Sarah sold them for £250, leaving a profit of £60 for Zia
and his kids.
Sarah took two tawdry treasures from the tip in Walsall.
Whose is that then?
Jeff's mum's blue settee was transformed
into a stunning pink sofa,
and Zia's worn leather cushions were dyed and stitched
into stylish bags.
Well, I love those transformations
from drab old trash into something rather flash.
And with the help of Neil and Anthony's amazing talents,
I think we've managed to create some pretty classy items.