“When developing, manufacturing and selling our products, we try to make the best decisions at every step of the supply chain.”
Like my pasta straws, many companies are already making amazing contributions to the change needed, including Claire Gaudion, a retail partner at ufurnish.com. I spoke to Claire to learn more about how she is putting sustainability at the heart of her business. Claire creates nature-inspired carpets, fabrics and furnishings for a feel-good home.
At a recent event I was given noodles as a straw. I was fascinated. And after 30 minutes, pretty pleased to see that the pasta holds its shape unlike a paper straw substitute. According to the recently published IPCC report and after the most important climate summit in Glasgow, COP26, sustainability is increasingly at the fore of the talks. Historic record summer temperatures, as well as fires and floods around the world, have given us all a boost.
Inspired by the beneficial effects of nature on our well-being and, above all, the power of nature’s colors to create a feel-good home, she advocates a biophilic design approach.
“Biophilic design is about strengthening our connection with nature and, in turn, supporting our well-being and happiness,” says Claire.
“That drives our design process. By reflecting the colors, materials and textures of nature in our designs, we create an accessible way to bring our connection with nature into our home through visual and tactile references in our fabrics, pillows, carpets and furniture.
“Biophilic design could well be described as ‘nature that takes care of us’. Hand in hand with this, sustainable design is about “we care about nature”. Since our start in 2013, we have made a commitment to work as sustainably and responsibly as possible. “
Claire understands the need for companies to become more sustainable.
“The construction industry accounts for around 40 percent of the UK’s total carbon footprint,” she explains. “This is a huge stat to be part of, and while it is encouraging to hear that the discussion about sustainability is getting louder, we all need to take action and take responsibility.
“As we design, manufacture, and distribute our products, we try to make the best choices at every step of the supply chain, taking people, places, and planets into account. This is a continuous work in progress. “
The use of recycled materials in production really sets Claire Gaudion apart. “We mainly use natural fibers and recycled materials. We selected these for their biophilic design and sustainability features. Claire is not only an advocate of sustainable materials, she also attaches great importance to the production process and ensures ethical and fair working conditions for those who make her carpets and fabrics.
“The people we work with are extremely important to us, as are ethical and fair working conditions,” she tells me. “Working on site has many advantages for sustainable production, especially the small number of kilometers traveled. Our fabrics are all made in the UK in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Our new furniture collection is made by bespoke furniture makers just 10 minutes from our Hampshire textile design studio.
“Our carpets, which are manufactured in collaboration with the Dutch company Momo Rugs, are made in India. We always want to be sure that the people we work with and the way we work are fair. Our cooperation partners at Momo Rugs have selected the best manufacturers for our knotted, tufted and flat-woven carpets, all of which have been awarded the Care & Fair label. “
The Care & Fair Label, a European initiative, certifies that no child labor is used and that the weavers enjoy good living conditions and fair wages.
“Packaging is probably our biggest challenge right now,” says Claire. “We are working on eliminating all plastic packaging and all of our packaged products are now shipped plastic free. We’re working to find a plastic-free alternative to the protective sleeves we use to transport our carpets and fabrics, but the lay-flat tubing currently in use is recyclable.
“We are also looking into the use of a new bio-based, climate-neutral alternative to plastic that is 100 percent recyclable, and we reuse and reuse packaging for deliveries whenever possible.”
“The global collective #interiordesigndeclares is initiated by #ArchitectsDeclaration. It is a promise by the interior design industry to counteract climate change and the loss of biodiversity. By joining, we commit to do better and take positive steps to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies now.
“With Greenspark, we are also part of a community of like-minded companies to offset our carbon footprint and prevent plastic from entering our oceans. We joined Greenspark to ensure the company is making a positive impact on our planet and its people. ”
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