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Elle Decoration: Sustainability Feature

Posted: 30.04.20

Tom Raffield features in Elle Decoration June 2020 Edition discussing sustainable business practices and protecting the world that inspires our creative designs.
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Creating a greener future

Tom discusses our sustainable steam bending processes, innovative product designs and the ways in which we successfully operate with a green business model in Elle Decoration June Edition. Read the full interview on pg. 104.

"A passion for protecting and conserving nature has always been the driving force behind our designs."

- Tom Raffield, Founder.

We're committed to using sustainably sourced timber from responsibly managed forests, weighing up credentials, carbon footprints and woodland techniques to inform what we buy and where. Our upholstered pieces are covered using only 100 per cent natural fabrics. We work alongside one of the last wool mills in the UK that manufactures sustainable, recycled fabrics - mainly high-quality wool derived from pasture-fed and ethically reared sheep- and help to support independent farms that showcase the best farming practices.

I was drawn to steam bending as a manufacturing process because it felt like a forgotten art form - there were very few people using the process commercially and I knew that there was a lot of creative scope. Steam bending is a a low-energy process that relies only on heat and water. Lengths of timber are loaded into a steam chamber, heated at 100 degrees Celsius and then wrapped around custom-made metal or wooden jigs that have been formed to the shape of the products.

The technique produces very little wastage; we even reuse any water that has condensed in the steamer the next time wood is heated. We also currently work with two small local companies that recycle and waste wood offcuts to create wooden toys, seed dibbers and gardening tools. We're now working really hard to ensure all our materials arrive plastic- free from our suppliers, we're 99 per cent of the way there and expect to hit our target in the next few months.

"For me, a sustainable design is one that does not compromise the planet in any way."

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Image credits: Elle Decoration June 2020.

Words: Kate Worthington.

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