Our raw materials often require processing, including casting, dying, engineering, forging, joining, machining silver, patination, plating metal, printing, soldering, steaming and weaving.
Chemicals are widely used to process raw materials into usable products, such as softening leather, and as solvents in paints and glues. The choice of chemicals, and how they are used and disposed of, is important to ensure responsible manufacturing.
Increasing demand for more sustainable materials throughout industry has brought accelerated focus on minimising the impact of chemicals on the environment and protecting the health and safety of workers.
Our workshops follow the necessary safety precautions to ensure makers are protected and that we comply with all health and safety legislation when chemicals are involved in manufacturing. For example, some of our processes include low volume use of glues, paints and inks.
It is very challenging to meet UK flammability regulations on upholstered seating without using fire retarding chemicals. We are collaborating with other furniture makers to force progress in this area, without compromising on safety.
By law, we must reduce the combustibility of upholstered furniture. This is achieved by using fire retarding chemicals that have been implicated in disrupting people’s hormonal systems (endocrine disruptors). Our goal is to stop using these chemicals by 2025.
Our commitment on chemicals use:
We aim to minimise the use of all chemicals and eradicate the use of potentially harmful chemicals, preferably by sourcing from organic farmers and processors where possible.
We are working to eradicate the use of Red List chemicals and substances identified by the EU’s chemicals legislation (REACH) as of (Very) High Concern. We want the glues and paints we use to be free from petrochemicals. Water-based products do not offer the same quality, but we hope expected innovations will bring improvements.
All our workshops use different manufacturing techniques. We are looking across our own and third-party workshops to find opportunities to avoid waste and minimise impact.
We will work with each facility to prioritise and implement actions to enhance circularity and sustainability. In 2021, we enhanced our contractual agreements and all our new suppliers since then have agreed to keep records of where their materials and components come from, and to share this information with us.