Sustainability is at the heart of all Soane’s manufacturing decisions. We combine high-quality materials and superb workmanship to ensure our designs endure for generations.
For the past year, we have been working with industry experts to adapt our upholstery to ensure it is made from natural materials, free from potentially harmful fire retardant chemicals, and long lasting. We have scrutinised the origins of every upholstery material and component we use and modified our designs to maintain quality, durability and comfort.
Upholstery foam is widely used because it holds the shape of modern seating, but it is made from fossil fuels and is difficult to recycle, repair or re-use. The more we researched, the more we realised the pressing need to remove it from all our products. Working closely with specialist upholsterers across Britain, we developed a natural alternative to petrochemical foam that crucially still meets the UK’s strict fire retardancy regulations.
We undertook lengthy experiments, driven by the need to maintain comfort and form while avoiding the negative impacts on human and environmental health associated with petrochemical foam. The resulting material layers natural latex (combining the milky sap from rubber trees with graphite, which is naturally fire retardant, and filling this with air for extra cushioning) and organic coconut coir (the hairy coconut husk) combined with additional natural latex. This sandwich effect creates just the right amount of structure before being wrapped in a layer of organic British wool, which is naturally breathable and offers sublimely soft padding.
Compared to petrochemical foam, which takes around 1,000 years to biodegrade and releases microplastics into the environment, our new upholstery is made from natural materials and is entirely free from fire retardant chemicals.