Environment

My values and approach

I strive to set high standards not only in the choices of high quality, low environmental impact materials but also in product quality meaning your footstool is robust and will last decades; the solid hardwood frame and the quality and quantity of the upholstery stuffings mean the stool is durable and can be recovered time and time again. I believe longevity is one of the primary responsibilities of any furniture business, and creating pieces that not only last but can be remoulded with fabric changes (even shapes) without discarding the original piece is one of my guiding principles; I aim to play as large a part as I can in discouraging furniture from ending up in landfill.

Whilst I believe The Bespoke Footstool Company has many laudable environmental practices in place, I recognise the need to keep revisiting this area of responsibility to ensure that I am taking all the necessary steps to protect our world. Materials are slowly changing to reflect this growing concern and I welcome all change in this area. This was key to the integrity of the business from inception, but as time goes on I still have concern over the continued mass-market use of polyurethane foam in the furniture industry generally and the throwaway culture due to the poor construction of mass-market pieces made with the least viable and durable materials, especially as what is underneath the cover does not decompose safely. So I am committed to sharing this concern too, whilst understanding that many firms are doing their best to take responsibility for their part too.

What I do and don’t use in my footstools:

+ I use cocolok instead of foam – this is made of fibres from the husk of coconuts and coated in natural latex. Not only are the husk fibres natural and from a widely available source, but the fibres also very tough and elastic. Latex is juice sourced from the rubber tree and provides elasticity to the coconut sheets. Latex is a fully renewable material and is inherently hypo-allergenic.
- I don’t use foam for the following reason; it is derivative of petroleum, a non-renewable source; it ends up in landfill as does “recyclable” foam sheets eventually; it doesn’t properly decompose; it is highly flammable so has to be treated with further harmful chemicals to ensure it passes the Fire Regulation tests; foam starts to break down after about 10-12 years emitting chemical particles of dust into your home; there is a natural alternative - coconut fibre which, in itself, is a traditional material and can be moulded more finely

+ I use cotton flock
- not polyester wadding which is another derivative of petroleum

+ I use FSC certified hardwood – meaning it is derived from sustainable sources - beech and birch from managed forests in Europe. The frames are screwed and dowelled and built to last.
- We don’t use softwood or wood that is not FSC certified

+ I use a wool Fire Retardant interliner
- not a chemically treated interliner
Wool is naturally very flame resistant as it has flame suppressant properties, preventing a fire from spreading by choking it.

+ I use Shellac and polish each leg by hand using a “mop” in the traditional “French polish” way with many coats
- rather than using the quick method of one chemical lacquer spray or a polyurethane finish.
Shellac is a non-toxic naturally occurring resin, derived from the secretion of the lac bug, which is scraped off branches. What is more, it gives a durable and rich, beautiful and traditional finish to the legs. We then apply a coat of natural wax.

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