DESIGNING FOR RENEWABLE OR RECYCLED MATERIALS

Choosing the right materials from the beginning is key. This principle is relevant for all four circular loops. It is one of the key commitments for our transformation into a circular business model.

No matter how long the product will live, the materials used should always be renewable and/or recycled. It is one of the key commitments for our transformation into a circular business by 2030.

The EU Green Deal has been adopted by the EU Commission and will lead to far reaching changes to how furniture is made and traded. Essentially the requirement is that when designing and making a piece of furniture its end of life and the reuse of its components must be considered and the objective in so far as practicable is to achieve a Cradle to Cradle result. i.e. that all of the materials used in the ,manufacture of a product end up being further used in their entirety and nothing going to waste.

This will lead to a lot of re-thinks as to how we design and use furniture and how the materials at primary manufacture must be such that they can be reused as raw material, re imagined and re made into another useful or decorative product or ground down and or melted into the raw material for further manufacture.

In its simplest form with sofas for example one would recover them, respring them, replace the foam and dacron and possibly reshape the frame. Simple you say, we do it all the time ! However, not quite so simple is the fabric or foam or fiber has been treated with Flame Retardant chemicals which have been subsequently banned. A bit like the Asbestos problem. They cannot be reused. Some other used has got to be found for them that makes them inert or they have to go to landfill….at a cost.

The frame too will have to be of such a structure as will take rebuilding. This will lead to a re-think of the materials used and the method of manufacture. Much of the cheaper upholstery to day is constructed in such a way that they do not lend themselves to repair of failed joints that were made using relatively slipshod construction hidden under inferior fabrics so that when the fabric fails the frame has already started to fail and the destination is landfill again……at a cost and in the future a likely penal cost as more sustainable methods and materials become commonplace.










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