The trend to create healthy and sustainable workplaces continues and is often seen as a differentiator for ever-knowledgeable employees looking for employers who take their responsibility for the environment seriously. Organisations more and more frequently are demonstrating their integrity through travel to work schemes, offices powered by renewable sources or inspirational yet sustainable interior design.
As a manufacturer we also take our responsibilities seriously. Not just through our connections with market leading organisations such as the FSC™ but through our daily design and manufacturing processes.
Sustainability doesn’t just start once you get inside the DH workshop, many years ago we consciously decided to work with local suppliers, with the majority of all our suppliers being based in the UK less than 40 miles from our workshop in High Wycombe.
Almost everything we use to manufacture our furniture is sourced and supplied from within 40 miles of our workshop
As we manufacture everything here, it not only reduces our carbon footprint but also keeps us nimble to respond quickly and efficiently to customer requirements and market changes.
It really is a given that responsible furniture manufacturers only purchase their timber from FSC™ managed sources, you can read more on our FSC™ certification in our September 2018 newsletter Yet we also care which other materials are used, the metal we use is primarily aluminium, though sometimes mild steel, both of which can be easily recycled and certainly more readily than stainless steel.
Chip foam is made from waste foam collected from us and other manufactuers.
We collect up our waste foam and send it back to our foam suppliers where it’s turned into “Chip Foam” and the circle is complete when the recycled foam is sent back to us for use as an important element in creating comfort in our seating.
We firmly believe that true sustainability is an integral part of the design process. Not just through understanding efficient manufacturing and the latest sustainable materials but in aesthetic design terms when we ask ourselves the questions; is it flexible in its design to withstand changes in trends and space usage? Does it offer maximum functionality, durability and ease of use? In other words, is it still going to look timeless and tidy in 10 years?
Our Fifth Avenue design is one of our oldest, but still looks fantastic.
Waste is minimised through thoughtful processes such as the hand cutting of frame components, foam and fabric. Yet once the project is complete and the products have been delivered onsite the recycling begins.
Hand cutting allows us to get the optimum amount out of our timber and leather
Leather off cuts are sent to be recycled into a variety of small leather goods such as watch straps, key fobs and gardening gloves. Left over fabric or "roll ends" are sent to a local organisation who share the fabric with their network of members who include local schools, special needs groups, play clubs, care groups and theatrical groups. We often see photos of items carefully crafted by local school children, or costumes created for dramatic effect. Over 90% of our roll ends are put to this fantastic use. Dacron, which we use to reduce the friction between the fabric to reduce the wear is also shared through networks who go on to use it to stuff toys and make cushions. Whilst we have been documenting this recycling activity for our ISO14001, we have recorded a staggering 624 bags of recycled material in four years.
Even our ex-showroom furniture is recycled through a local scheme which “re-homes” furniture through local groups.
Ex-showroom Boulevard units being used at a local Childrens centre
How integral is sustainability to your organisation? Whether companies include sustainability within their design vision or not, our clients can be reassured of our integrity as a sustainable business supporting our local community through design.