Wednesday, October 21, 2020

How one East Midlands furniture business is leading the way with sustainability

Our awareness of climate change is unquestionably on the rise. In-fact, a recent YouGov survey showed the British public’s concern about the environment to be at an all-time high. Yet beyond plastic consumption, energy use and diet, our choice of furniture is perhaps one factor that many of us will fail to consider.

We decided to catch up with the interior design experts at Hammonds to learn more. The East Midlands company designs, manufactures and installs fitted furniture for almost every room in the home. And by closely controlling each aspect of the process, the business is able to demonstrate an impressive commitment to sustainability.

But what does sustainability look like for a furniture company? We spoke to Kirsty Oakes, Head of Displays and Marketing at Hammonds, to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

Partnering with sustainable suppliers

Ultimately any business that prides itself on sustainability should demand a certain standard from its suppliers, Kirsty suggests.

“We look for industry leading supply partners who can demonstrate the same desire for continued progression as Hammonds, both in terms of new product development and the wider social, environmental and economic factors that affect any business.

“We determine the viability of any new supplier using a variety of risk analysis tools & supplier visits to ensure they meet our expectations.”

Building the right relationships

Where suppliers are based can make a difference too, as many higher quality materials are typically imported.

“We try to source as much as we can from within the EU as it helps to keep lead times down and suppliers are easier to audit however, this is not always possible.

“We’d first look to utilise our current supply base for any new product introductions. Where this is not possible – for example if a specific décor was required – we will consider other vendors.

“Most vendors that we would want to deal with are already known to us through trade shows, meetings and so on, even if they are not a current vendor. Ultimately, any new vendor would need to go through our official approval process prior to use.”

Working with sustainable materials

Hammonds also makes sure to use raw materials from sustainable sources to leave an environmentally friendly footprint, Kirsty tells us.

“Most timber items that we buy are FSC or PEFC certified which ensures sustainability throughout the supply chain.”

FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, a system allowing businesses to source materials from well-managed forests or recyclable sources. The PEFC, or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, is another global organisation promoting sustainable forest management.

It’s fantastic to see an East Midlands company leading the way in terms of sustainability. Are you aware of the environmental impact of your furniture?

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