Our raw materials
As commercial furniture manufacturers, our core materials include wood, metal, glass, polymers and fabric. In each category, we are increasing the proportion of recycled materials used while at the same time increasing the recyclability of the materials in our products.
The wood we use is responsibly sourced, renewably harvested and meets FSC® Chain of Custody standards. We are exploring the use of faster growing species like pine instead of hardwood in some products and looking into the use of parts made from recycled coffee grounds.
The range of natural fibres and textiles our customers are able to choose from is expanding all the time and we’re looking at new options such as bamboo and hemp, both for finishes and seat stuffing.
A high proportion of the glass and metal we use is recycled and can be recycled again at the end of a product’s lifecycle, and we are continually reviewing our aluminium suppliers to increase the recycled content. Polymers are a trickier area but this area is seeing the greatest innovation. Derived from fossil fuels, virgin polymer granules are not ideal, and we are continually increasing the recycled polymer content of our products.
For example, we have projects exploring the use of plastic from recycled bottles to replace plywood and moulded plastic parts in some of our furniture. We are also looking at hemp-based parts as plastic replacements and finding ways to use 100% recycled polypropylene, with our existing tools, instead of virgin plastics.
Transparency for customers
Several factors need to be taken into account. For example, recycling some materials requires a large amount of energy which can increase carbon footprint. In other cases, a component made from a renewable or recyclable material may break more easily than one made from something that seems less sustainable, leading to greater overall consumption of materials and energy in the long run.
To meet this challenge, we calculate the carbon footprint and environmental impact of every material we choose. This includes its original sourcing at the design stage, transport to our facilities, our manufacturing process, and the recovery and recycling of the material afterwards.
Our aim is always to minimise the carbon footprint and waste generated by Boss Design furniture, and to be transparent about this. Every product we list has an Environmental Product Data Sheet, so you can see what its environmental impact is when making a purchase decision.
Mark Barrell, Design Director