Have you ever bought furniture for your home and, when faced with a choice, gone for the cheaper option? Only to find that within a few years it needs replacing or has literally fallen apart? As my grandfather used to say “Buy cheap, buy twice” and sadly it is so often true, which is why our carefully curated furniture range has evolved, based not just on design, but also with quality and sustainability in mind.
The Bruntland Commission of the United Nations states that “Sustainability involves meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Here at Sapphire Spaces there is nothing ‘throw-away’ about the furniture we sell. The furniture we offer not only looks incredible in any room throughout the home, but also makes a sound investment – pieces that retain value and can be handed down through the family over time.
When we commit to working with a furniture brand it is not a decision we take lightly, the furniture we sell and the manufacturers we work with must share our philosophy and, from the outset, our aim has always been to bring long-lasting, design-led furniture to our clients in the South West. For too long homeowners in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset were having to buy from further afield if they wanted something from esteemed brands such as Knoll, Carl Hansen & Son, Vitra, Fritz Hansen and B&B Italia (to name a few) but all that changed when Sapphire Spaces first opened its doors in 2012.
Our furniture showroom, conveniently located on the outskirts of Exeter, showcases designers and brands who take pride in the construction and finish of their furniture, combining the best of today’s technology with traditional, handmade craftsmanship and using sustainable, well-sourced materials.
So whether you are buying for your home or workplace, you can feel safe in the knowledge that when relaxing in a Grand Repos lounge chair, writing at an Ercol desk or enjoying any other piece from our furniture range you have secured a handcrafted piece that you will never throw away.
So, what is Sustainable Furniture and why should you choose it?
Sustainable furniture does not produce high levels of carbon emissions so is eco-friendly and kinder to the environment. Sustainable furniture is made using responsible manufacturing practices and the furniture at Sapphire Spaces is of the highest quality to ensure longevity. Material-wise, sustainability can come from using recycled or renewable materials along with natural finishing products that do not give off toxins or pollutants.
To ensure sustainability our manufactures base their design and production around the following principles:
- Protect against deforestation by sourcing materials from renewable sources
- Use materials with specific accreditations such as FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) which shows responsible harvesting of wood
- Reduce the use of chemicals that attribute to pollution
- Utilise local materials to save on transport
- Produce furniture made from recycled materials
- Minimise packaging and transport.
Which sustainable furniture brands do we stock and why?
So we wanted to look at a few of our suppliers and share with you how inspiring their ethos is and how they take such care in crafting their pieces to attain a sustainable product.
Carl Hansen & Son
Carl Hansen & Son are a great example of well-considered furniture production. They source their Oak, Beech and Ash from Danish forests that are managed according to the Danish Forest Act. This ensures sustainable and ecological forestry for future generations. Many of their designs originate from the 1950s and 60s and feature handwoven paper cord seats. The paper cord is made of paper from a sustainable Swedish forest and is biodegradable.
For their soap treated wooden furniture, Carl Hansen & Son use 100% natural soap with a pure vegetable oil base and oil-treated wooden furniture uses plant-based oils. These materials do not emit gases of any kind after they are applied.
“Vitra’s greatest contribution to sustainability is the creation of products that omit non-essential elements and last a long time. Our roots in modern design would allow nothing else.” Nora Fehlbaum (CEO)
As a company Vitra and constantly evolving their production methods and the materials they use to support responsible production and this year is no different. Following on from the success of their 2011 all plastic Tip Ton Chair for Vitra, designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have now revisited their future classic to develop a version made of recycled plastic: Tip Ton RE. Recycled household waste (primarily from packaging) forms the basis of this 100% recyclable chair. The original Tip Tons are available in various colours but the new Tip Ton RE is dark grey flecked with some slightly darker irregularities which are the natural hue of the chair’s raw material.
Above: The Tip Ton, designed by Baber Osgerby for Vitra with enhanced functionality: when sat, the chair allows the user can tilt forward a few degrees. This forward tilt straightens the spine and pelvis and improves circulation to the muscles in your abdomen and back.
Ercol has been in the furniture business for 100 years now, based in the UK they have a state of the art factory. Besides the sustainable furniture they produce they have focused hard on how hard the factory should also work to have the least impact on the environment. They use a biomass boiler for heating, fuelled by the waste wood from the products.
Large windows maximise the natural daylight and motion detectors to control lighting and reduce wasted energy.
Their furniture is made from high-quality timber, sourced carefully from around the world but in strict line with the European Timber Regulations.
Knoll is committed to sustainable design, design that considers the social, economic and environmental impact on people and the planet. It is Knoll’s policy to manufacture well-designed furniture, textiles and office accessories in the most environmentally responsible way and they have developed products and manufacturing processes to protect our future. Knoll continuously evaluate the environmental impact of all their projects and are industry pioneers at submitting their products to independent third-party certification (and advocating others to do the same). Knoll believes that respected third parties provide the most impartial and trustworthy assurances.
Environmental protection and treating our environment in a considerate and sustainable way is hugely important to kitchen and furniture manufacturer bulthaup. bulthaup believe that now more than ever companies need to protect resources and decrease environmental pollution to protect the planet’s future. When designing and manufacturing bulthaup ensure that every component observes not only the statutory norms but their own, self-imposed, high standards.
Right from the start, at the product development stage, bulthaup’s focus is on economical use of materials, energy conservation during manufacturing and ensuring their products do not harm the environment when eventually disposed of - although the long lifespan of bulthaup’s products is a major environmental benefit. The importance of having the highest quality designs, using the best materials and the best manufacturing processes guarantees an above-average lifespan for a bulthaup kitchen.
A bulthaup kitchen does not succumb to fashion trends, instead timeless design means that even after many years a bulthaup kitchen remains appealing and reduces the environmental damages caused by premature disposal.
“Through intelligent minimization, many things in life can be produced and made more simply” (Otl Aicher). bulthaup’s b1 kitchen range follows this principle and deliberately focuses on using a few simple, honest materials in a well-considered way.
Don't forget we are now offering appointment-based meetings at our Showroom, keeping you and our staff safe and secure to look around, and discuss your requirements.