Fallen & Felled are a London-based timber company that repurposes fallen urban trees into hardwood timber and furniture. Since its incorporation in 2018, Fallen & Felled has built a growing customer base, working with small furniture makers, architects, designers and larger organisations including local authorities. They knew they had a strong offering, and were seeking to build on this traction and develop partnerships with more local authorities and developers to more effectively capture felled London trees that would otherwise go to waste.They were assigned an expert ReLondon business advisor to help stress test the circularity of their offering, and provide recommendations on how to strengthen their business model in a bespoke validation report, including how to link their offering more coherently to local authority strategy and objectives. Through the Meet the Cities event, Fallen & Felled established a closer relationship with Westminster City Council's tree surgeons which contributed to a 35% increase in the number of trees they have been able to repurpose. They are currently working on 3 contracts following meetings organised by ReLondon, and they’ve created 2 new full-time and 2 freelancer roles; conducted a successful rebranding, and are on target to increase turnover by 80% this year.
What was the challenge?
Fallen & Felled (previously known as Saunders Seasonings) are an award-winning timber merchant based in London and Essex, producing their own low-carbon hardwoods for businesses, makers and designers. Most of the timber they sell is sourced from trees felled in and around London that would otherwise be chipped and burned but instead, are recycled and repurposed into hardwood timber and new items like furniture, ensuring their embodied carbon stays in the wood and out of the atmosphere.
Since its incorporation in 2018, Fallen & Felled has built a growing customer base, working with small furniture makers, architects, designers and larger organisations including local authorities. They knew they had a strong offering, and were seeking to build on this traction and develop partnerships with more local authorities and developers to more effectively capture trees that would otherwise go to waste.
With this in mind, they applied for the Meet the Cities SME support stream delivered by ReLondon’s business transformation team. Circular businesses with built environment innovations are supported to refine and articulate their value proposition and go on to participate in the ‘Meet the Cities’ matchmaking session, curated by ReLondon in partnership with the City of London and Westminster City Council.
What was the response?
Following their successful application, Fallen & Felled were assigned an expert ReLondon business advisor to help stress test the circularity of their offering, and provide recommendations on how to strengthen their business model in a bespoke validation report, including how to link their offering more coherently to local authority strategies and objectives. This support was key in helping them position their offer and pitch with confidence and authenticity to multiple buyers and local authority representatives at the Meet the Cities event.
This 1-2-1 support provided the assurance Fallen & Felled needed with regards to their circularity, helping to build confidence in putting their newly polished pitch to the test and presenting their offer to potential partners.
At the Meet the Cities event, Fallen & Felled were introduced to 8 large construction corporates and 5 local authority departments to showcase how their solution could support public sector aims, as well as networking with fellow entrepreneurs.
“We loved working with ReLondon, it has been really valuable! We gained a sense of reassurance and an understanding of the potential of our circular business.”
Patrick Welsh, Marketing Director, Fallen & Felled
What were the outcomes?
Since the event, Fallen & Felled have expanded their target audience and are experiencing a substantial growth in demand.
As a result of the connection with Westminster City Council in particular, they were able to secure and repurpose a tree that fell in Soho Square which was featured on BBC News in 2021. This opened doors to building a closer relationship with the council’s tree surgeons, something that Fallen & Felled had struggled to establish in the past. This relationship has significantly developed their supply chain, increasing the amount of trees they can repurpose and give a second life.
The introductions to people at Westminster City Council and City of London also resulted in a number of contract opportunities thanks to media coverage and awareness. Three contracts are currently in discussion following meetings organised by ReLondon.
Opportunities to share their story have also emerged – for example, thanks to an introduction by ReLondon to the Environmental Business Network , they were selected to have a promotional video created and shared at a networking event with 50+ people and online. Not only was the video a great articulation of what they do as a circular business, but also a valuable source of publicity that the business can use in future.
With the increased brand awareness and the important relationship with Westminster City Council’s tree surgeons established, Fallen & Felled are currently on track to almost double their turnover this year. The developments supported by ReLondon have contributed to a substantial increase in sales and, as a result, they’ve created 2 new full-time and 2 freelancer roles, with the prospect of recruiting at least 1 more full-time employee in the next 12 months.
Lessons Learned & next steps
Working with a ReLondon business advisor, Fallen & Felled were able to recognise and communicate its core business offering and identify where future opportunities lay. Using ReLondon’s final validation report, they have been able to distil their core message and effectively share their value proposition. This informed their rebrand, which better reflects their business purpose and launch a new website to reach out to new customers and sell not just their timber, but an idea of how the world needs to change.