Upholstery

We use cotton, feathers & down, hemp, horsehair, jute, leather, linen and wool in our upholstery. We no longer use foam in our upholstery, as it is made from fossil fuels. The production of synthetic foam contributes to climate change and is difficult to recycle, repair or re-use.

Our commitment on upholstery materials:
As of March 2024, nine months ahead of schedule, we will only use natural and FR chemical free materials in our domestic upholstery filling. Working with industry experts, we have developed a foam alternative, free from fire retardant chemicals, combining natural latex, coconut coir, and wool.

Our next challenge, in addition to being FR chemical free, is to ensure the wool-based interliner currently required by UK law for fabric-covered upholstery is also completely natural. With less than 5% to go, we’re confident we can achieve this goal.

Natural Latex and Coconut Coir

Together, natural latex and coconut coir make up two thirds of our natural alternative to petrochemical foam. Natural latex combines the milky sap from rubber trees with graphite, which is naturally fire retardant, and is filled with air for extra cushioning. Organic coconut coir (discarded fibres from the hairy coconut husk) is also 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.

Cotton

Cotton is grown throughout the world.  Conventionally farmed crops need considerable amounts of water, fertilisers (derived from fossil fuels) and agro-chemicals to combat pests and diseases.  In some regions there are concerns about the use of forced labour and the health and safety of farm workers exposed to agro-chemicals and harsh working conditions.

Small amounts of cotton are grown organically, avoiding crop protection chemicals and fossil fertilisers.  Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and concerned companies have formed the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) which sets sustainability standards for cotton growers. Producers who meet the BCI’s core requirements can become licensed to grow and sell their produce as Better Cotton.

Our commitment on cotton:
Some of our cotton is sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative. We are working with our suppliers to establish full transparency of sources by the end of 2024. We will then be in a position to support an industry initiative and/or choose a certification system to support.

Feathers & Down

Feathers and down come from farmed poultry, usually as a by-product of the meat industry. There are concerns about animal welfare on farms, and the environmental and human health impacts during processing.

Our commitment on feathers & down:
Animal welfare is key. We are working to ensure all feathers & down are certified as non-live plucked, and we are looking to source recycled feathers & down. Meanwhile, we are working to meet the Responsible Down Standard.

Hemp and Jute

Hemp and jute are natural, biodegradable fibres obtained from fast-growing plants that need little, if any, fertilisers and agro-chemicals.  Hemp can be grown in mild climates while jute, used to make hessian, is grown mainly in south-east Asia. The fibres are increasingly used as a substitute for cotton, or as a blend.

Horsehair

Horsehair is a traditional upholstery material used for centuries.  Some horsehair is collected in stables during grooming, but most comes from horses after they have reached the end of their life.

Our commitment on horsehair:
We want to ensure that all the horsehair we use is a by-product collected during grooming, or after life.

Wool

Wool from sheep is natural, biodegradable, recyclable and produced worldwide.  Concerns about animal welfare and the use of chemicals in farming and wool processing has put the spotlight on farming methods and led to certification initiatives to improve standards.

Our commitment on wool:
All wool to be certified as responsibly sourced by 2025, and preferably organically certified.