With the spot light on sustainability we're not just raising the issue but highlighting how we can minimise our impact, even from the smallest of details. The contract furniture industry could make a huge impact on our planet and steps are already being taken to lead on the sustainability path.
Exploring alternative materials and products resources can welcome so many renewable options. Rattan is a perfect example of this; as the second fastest growing material for furniture production natural rattan is an inherently biodegradable, renewable resource and still suitable for contract use.
Other renewable materials include Cork; as it's a derivative from the bark of the tree apposed to the tree it's self, the tree continues to live and grown while the cork can be used to create seating and table tops. As a natural material the positives of cork don't stop there, with it's biodegradable and recyclable nature making it's a real win environmentally.
Advanced manufacturing techniques enable waste materials to be transformed and re-purposed. SilicaStone is a prime example, it takes recycled waste glass and ceramics to produce a contract grade table top surface that is 98% recycled.
Recycling materials has also lead to great innovations in designs. While various pieces are created to be recycled, other designs take it a step further by transforming waste materials into the raw material. Some of our favourite designs include the Ocean chair; a stackable and sleek side chair produced from fishing nets and hard plastic extracted from the ocean. Similarly, the Ibiza family aims to salvage a percentage of the estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic that's founds in the oceans surrounding it's namesake island; creating the sleek outdoor collection.
The transportation of goods is one of the major factors affecting our carbon footprint. While we do not import from the Far East and instead focus on using UK factories first, followed by European factories, there are simple ways to minimise the carbon footprint associated to a single project.
By being aware of the factory locations and mindful to select pieces manufactured around the same area, the environmental effect of transportation is easily reduced.