In 2013, former supermodel Lily Cole received £200,000 in funding from taxpayer-funded government grants for her tech startup Impossible, a website where people “share skills, services and resources without money as the medium,” according to an interview she gave to the Observer last year.
But it looks like the site is now moving away from “social giving.” The Sunday Times, which interviewed Cole, points out that her site is now selling items including £2,200 furniture pieces made from bread (although Impossible says all profit is reinvested into the business).
Cole is a millionaire supermodel who was the face of iconic fashion campaigns including Chanel and Alexander McQueen. But she has left the catwalk behind to become a technology entrepreneur, launching a “social giving” network called Impossible in 2013.
Impossible says that it allows people to create their own “kindness” profiles which can help people find jobs or partners. Users can earn “Thanks,” a virtual currency used to express gratitude. Advisors to Impossible include Chelsea Clinton, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and “many others who remain nameless, but not thankless.”
An investigation carried out by technology news site The Register in 2014 discovered that Cole’s site had been given a total of £200,000 in grants created from UK taxpayer funds. It found that Cole had a net worth of £7 million when she applied for funding for her site. Impossible was given £50,000 from the “Innovation in Giving Fund,” followed by £150,000 for demonstrating “Impact at Scale.”
The Sunday Times highlights a new section of Impossible called the shop. It sells products including the £87 “Problems are opportunities” hat and a £2,200 stool made from bread.
The bread stool is manufactured from bricks of bread, and is expected to last around four to seven years before “deteriorating into dust.”
In case you wanted to build your own £2,200 bread stool, here’s the recipe:
400 grams of wholemeal flour
50 grams of salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Bake the bread bricks separately in wooden moulds.
Cut the bread bricks to size, glue them together and shape them into a stool.
We reached out to Impossible for comment on this article and will update if we hear back.