Our promise is to design and craft sustainable, handmade pieces of furniture that make a stand against the fast, throwaway culture which presents itself in the interiors world. We've spent and continue to spend hours researching the best ways to make interiors more sustainable without compromising on style or quality. Here are four simple steps you can take to ensure you're decorating sustainably.
Shop locally and use British creatives where possible.
We're extremely fortunate to have so many talented creatives on our doorstep, from upholsters to glass makers, you'll find many online and local businesses in the UK that make and sell a wide range of pieces for your home. Shopping locally is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint as it reduces the amount of mileage your product has travelled. According to Eco Jungle, transport accounts for over 20% of all carbon emissions, making it the second largest polluting industry after energy, which contributes close to 30% of all greenhouse gases.
You can find an abundance of British artisans on Etsy, an online platform full of charming small retailers and individuals where you can shop vintage and unique handicrafts that you might not be able to find elsewhere. Some of our favourite British businesses include Alice Palmer, for their beautiful bespoke lampshades and Anta, who produce a wonderful range of home furnishings in Scotland.
How we've become a sustainable, UK furniture business
We're a young, British company. We've grown up with the awareness of climate change and work to combat it as much as we can while still producing high quality, stylish furniture. One of the ways we do that is by working with British suppliers.
You've got to be particularly careful when importing timber pieces, as the limited availability of timber in the UK means that pieces can travel far and wide before eventually getting into your home. Our timber pieces, such as the Eton Chopping Block and our Winchester Side Table are all made by hand here in our workshops in Somerset by skilled craftsmen. We partner with a range of wood suppliers such as Hewins Oak when sourcing our raw materials to make these items. Our wood suppliers are all accredited with FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody Certification. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, it's a non-governmental body whose mission is to “promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.”. We know we are doing right by our planet while also leaving you with the good sense of doing the right thing when you purchase with us.
Invest in pieces that will last for generations
In the interiors world, there's something known as 'fast furniture' - which aims to create cheap, fashionable / trending and easy to break down furniture. If possible, invest in timeless, solid pieces that are high in quality and will last for years to come. By investing a bit more, your mindset shifts so that you take better care of that furniture. There's also a negative mentality with fast furniture, that if it gets damaged or broken, it's much easier to throw it away than to repair. Not to mention that antique or well crafted pieces add a splash of character to a space.
Choose non-toxic paint and wallpaper brands
There are plenty of paint and wallpaper brands now that use natural dyes and pigments while still offering a wide range of colours, patterns and textures to choose from. We love Farrow & Ball, and we use it a lot here at The Wainhouse Co. With Farrow & Ball, it's so much more than just paint and paper. For 75 years, the company have been known for making informed decisions with the environment at mind. For example, their paint range is 100% water based. The National Trusts Little Greene is also a great option.
Where applicable, look out for FSC and PEFC certified products
The FSC and PEFC mark on wood products will be an important thing to look out for if you're trying to shop sustainably. These two marks indicate that the product comes from sustainably managed forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation created in response to rapid deforestation and aims to provide a better, more environmentally friendly way of doing business. For a supplier to be accredited with FSC and PEFC certification, they must undergo annual inspection to ensure continued compliance.