Doing our best to minimise our environmental footprint…
Our business model requires us to import products from Indonesia – the skills and raw materials required do not exist in Europe. So our job is to minimise our environmental impact within the constraints of this model.
Hear what Rachel Ross has to say about our approach to environmental issues on this video clip.
The seagrass grows locally in lakes and streams (and not in the ocean as its English name implies); it is harvested by local people for use in craft and furniture products.
Rattan is a type of vine which grows abundantly on the trees of the Indonesian tropical rainforests. Indonesia is in fact the main country in the world where rattan is grown and harvested.
The banana fibre comes from the stems or leaves which surround the trunk of the banana tree; these are peeled off the tree and plaited into a fibre which is both strong and beautiful. In its natural form, the fibre ranges in colour from yellow through green to brown. They are also bleached to create the attractive pale colour you see in our Kartosuro range. The banana trees are cut down each year after they have fruited (they grow again very quickly), and these leaves are a freely-available by-product.
We have chosen Mindi as our main wood type for the Semarang and Jepara ranges, because of its attractive colour and grain. It is a fast growing native tree from Java Indonesia. It is not yet available as an FSC-labelled product, but we started a programme in 2012 with Global Forest & Trade Network WWF and their local partner Sukofindo which should form the basis of an FSC-certified programme in a few years time. In the meantime we know exactly where all the mindi timber comes from, and we hope to encourage the local farmers to set up a replanting scheme which will mean their forestry practices become fully sustainable.
For the Jogya, Kartosuro, and Bantul ranges, we changed (during 2012) the type of wood we use for the seat-frames, table tops and shelving to FSC-certified teak and acacia.
We started off with a hard-wearing cotton/linen product which is woven in Europe – this is still our most popular fabric. However we now also offer two fairly traded cotton fabrics which are handmade and hand-dyed in India for our UK partner Chandni Chowk. This company is exploring the possibility of creating an organic supply chain with their main Indian partner Anokhi. In the meantime we feel the hand-weaving and hand-dyeing processes need to be protected, and also offer the lowest possible environmental footprint.
We avoid air freight on all shipments except urgent samples or prototypes. We are investigating the possibility of offsetting our sea-freight carbon footprint.
All air travel by our team members is carbon-offset, and we are trying to organise our visits to Indonesia so that they are as time and fuel-efficient as possible.
We have switched our electricity supply to Ecotricity, use the Green Stationery Company for office supplies, and look for other opportunities to buy fairtrade and organic products for our business usage. We also cycle to work !