With great design comes great responsibility
A top trend for the design world is sustainability - it's an issue that affects us all and no industry can afford to ignore it. At RB12, we are passionate about our environmental responsibility and our chosen collection of brands that are available from our Shoreditch based design space & shop, put their environmental impact at the forefront of their work - whether that be through the materials they use, social responsibility through fair trade or their manufacturing processes.
In this article we are going to look at some of the ways our collection of contemporary brands help make their interior products as sustainable as possible, and therefore making our collections an eco-friendly choice for interior designers and homeowners alike.
Carefully sourced materials
Our modern scandinavian furniture supplier Bolia, put great care into how their furniture pieces come to be and are seriously picky when it comes to the materials they use - as they should be!
Their leather contains no harmful chemicals and is completely traceable to its source, right the way from farmer to your home. This ensures the highest quality and production transparency for their contemporary leather furniture. Bolia cover their sofas in the highest quality New Zealand sheeps wool, ensuring it comes from the best possible conditions and strictly upholds animal welfare conventions. Bolia are also proud to be able to cover their unique furniture pieces in Bergo fabric - a special fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. This fabric uses no new raw materials in its production so it is 100% free of heavy metals.
Wood is first and foremost, a natural resource, and it must be managed responsibly and wisely if we want it to last into the future. Many of our collections are made using this natural resource and Minacciolo are no exception. Minacciolo wooden furniture is made exclusively of solid wood that comes from controlled forest plantations that are PEFC certified. The Battistella Company - mother organization to our three amazing 'Made in Italy' furniture brands; Cinquanta3, Nidi and Novamobili - uses certified 100% recycled wood, which means that their wood supply does not involve any felling of trees at all!
Handmade & ethically Fair Trade
Rugs made by Armadillo & Co are infused with a rich heritage of craftsmanship, this comes from the hands of the artisans who spin and dye their natural yarns, all the way to those who weave and finish their 100% hand made rugs. These gorgeous rugs preserve traditional artisan techniques and are made in India, using Fair Trade practices meaning absolutely no child labour was used to make these products.
The Armadillo & Co founders have also set up The Armadillo & Co Foundation which helps to support the local communities around these artisans - including education, installing solar panels, medical facilities and more! Find out more about Armadillo & Co in our spotlight feature on them from our journal here.
When looking into our collections and how their manufacturing worked, we were so pleased to find that so many of them boasted 100% energy self-sufficiency! Italian stylish furniture suppliers Lapalma have recently expanded their headquarters to include solar panels along the roof giving them enough energy for their full operations. They have even installed geothermal probes which absorb the heat from the earth to optimise their own heating and air-conditioning.
Contemporary kitchen suppliers Miton, Binova and Minacciolo have all implemented technical innovation that means their production facilities are entirely run by photovoltaic panels - also known as solar panels. As a result these companies are 100% energy self sufficient and build their kitchens harnessing the sun's renewable energy. Binova have managed to record savings of 600 tonnes of oil and 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year since this sustainable initiative.
Our own bathroom design artisans Rexa Design are also fully sustainable with their eco-friendly office that is equipped with a 1,300? solar plant that exceeds their annual production capacity of 206,000 kWh!
Many of our brands have or are putting into place green initiatives to tackle sustainability issues. Bolia for example, have made a pledge that by the end of 2019 they aim to eliminate all plastic packaging and instead to only use recycled or alternative materials.
The Battistella Company mentioned previously, carefully dispose and recycle all materials used in their production process - including rags, sandpaper, packaging and waste - through a specialist trusted partner. Minacciolo have also taken notice and their products are all boxed and packaged in recycled card.
Be the change
We only have one planet and as Armadillo & Co say, "our rugs lie lightly on this earth" - it's up to us to use our time wisely for future generations. Forward-thinking architects, designers and homeowners should already have these issues in mind when choosing their interior products and be creating spaces with the future in mind.
With the UK's crazy "Summer in February" that seems to be happening (a sure sign of global warming!), it can be hard to feel motivated for change but every time you do your bit - no matter how small - for sustainable development, if everyone did the same, it would make the world of difference.
Literally. Every little effort counts.
We are passionate about promoting products that will "lie lightly on this earth" - if you are too, come by and see us at the RB12 Design Space & Shop, give us a call on +44 (0) 207 1352246 or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.