More sustainable furniture; less environmental impact.

In Australia, we’ve got a BIG problem. The ‘fast furniture’ revolution – while convenient and affordable – creates an enormous amount of household furniture waste each year. As prices drop, so does the quality, turning suburban streets into furniture graveyards.

But it’s not your fault: the recycling and furniture industries are in dire need of a revolution. And that’s where Social Living comes in.

We’re Australia’s first registered social enterprise to manufacture bedding and sustainable furniture, proudly made in Melbourne. Our goal is to find better ways to develop products that fit into a circular economy so we can create more jobs in our local area for marginalized and at-risk communities.

See our impact

What we value



It’s not enough to just ‘give back’ anymore. We actively work towards changing the status quo by always seeking to make a positive contribution to the lives of everyone we meet.



It’s not enough to say ‘we’re all equal’. We back this up by providing opportunities and respect to everyone, regardless of their status or station in life.



It’s not enough to simply accept responsibility: behaviour must change. We take care of our staff and partners, we create products that are environmentally conscious and take ownership over our impact.



It’s not enough to preach fairness, it needs to be backed by action. We treat every person we meet with dignity and compassion, with no favouristism or discrimination, etiher.

Our Story

The Social Living journey started out almost 9 years ago in founder Ben Armstrong’s parent’s backyard. After years of frustration working in the recycling industry, Ben got fed up with the politics and how little control there is onshore when it comes to repurposing and recycling furniture.

Ben and his brother started dismantling old beds and selling the raw materials to various kinds of businesses across Victoria. The phrase ‘fake it til you make it’ became the business’ mantra, eventually leading to signing the lease on a bigger warehouse in Thomastown, much to the delight of Ben’s parents.

By vowing to move the whole process onshore – from designing to manufacturing, and even recycling – Ben planted the seed for what is now Social Living. Interestingly, the ethos itself was inspired by Ben’s grandfather, Jim Armstrong, who left a lasting impression – not just on his family, but in his local community, too.

Building a legacy

Jim didn’t grow up in privilege and because he couldn’t afford a law degree, he instead worked his way up through the ranks and held the highest position in the Victorian prison system. As Governor, he was well-respected by staff and prisoners alike. Not because of his job title but for treating everyone equally, and creating a variety of meaningful jobs for prisoners which lead to a self-sufficient prison.

This legacy has found its way into the very fabric of Social Living. Our team is culturally diverse and we don’t cut corners for the sake of saving an extra dollar (unlike many retailers in the furniture industry). Every person and every material has a purpose – and it’s our hope to change how we as a society relate to each other and the sustainable furniture we choose to keep at home.