Creating the plastic-free office space
July 2021 was known around the world as ‘Plastic Free July’, as millions of people embraced the concept of refusing to use single-use plastic items.
There is a growing consciousness of the harmful impact of plastic on the environment and that is very much translating to the materials used in the manufacture of modern office furniture.
We all have a choice to make regarding the future of our planet. The opportunity to make a difference is very much the here and now, with a wider than ever variety of choices, when it comes to fabrics.
Making a difference in the office
Within industry, going ‘greener’ has been an option for many years. But terms like ‘sustainable’ have come into the collective conscience relatively recently.
Designing and manufacturing with sustainability has become part of the ethos of business, with global standards like ISO 14001 helping to benchmark processes. Responsible, ethical furniture manufacturing techniques come in a number of forms.
At iQ Workspace, we work with a number of ethical suppliers, who manufacture using sustainable materials and methods.
Metalicon, the ergonomic accessories products from Arrow Group, is one such partner to iQWorkspace.
Since 2018, the company has aimed to eliminate plastic from its product packaging, with an Ocean Friendly logo underlining its commitment.
Our aim is to have all Metalicon® branded packaging completely plastic free by 2023.”
It says: “The majority of our product packaging is already made using recycled paper-based materials which can also be recycled again and our aim is to have all Metalicon® branded packaging completely plastic free by 2023.”
Camira, whose fabrics feature in all our manufacturing partners’ products, has focussed on sustainability and a reduction in the use of virgin polyester, for over a generation now.
Having obtained ISO 14001 accreditation back in 1996, Camira began to work with recycled polyester fabric towards the end of the last century.
As the 2000s got underway, Camira introduced a blend of natural wool fabrics and base fibres and reached zero waste status to the main factory’s landfill site, in 2010.
2021 saw the business launch Oceanic, a range of fabric woven from marine plastic waste, bringing recycling to a whole new level.
Small changes make a big difference
It is not just packaging that increasingly offers alternatives and every small change made by manufacturers, contributes to a collective big shift.
Pentatonic operates within Germany and the UK and manufactures their products from 100% recycled materials such as old chairs and bottles.
The company’s search for recycling ingenuity has even seen it convert cracked smartphone screens into high-end glassware.
The company’s range includes office chairs and tables and the business has worked with major organisations like Starbucks, to help reduce their environmental footprint.
Recycling is one of the keys to enhancing ocean and land life. Some manufacturers have taken things a step further making office furniture and accessories products from recycled fishing nets.
Initiatives like the FSC, an organisation operating a global forest certification system, are also helping to enhance sustainability into the furniture industry and beyond.
The FSC system allows businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.
According to the FSC, there is increasing demand for sustainable products and 80% of consumers who have bought or are looking for sustainable products say that the FSC label has a positive effect on their purchasing decisions.
So if environmental issues are an essential focus for your business, why not go the extra mile? Contact iQ Workspace to discuss our range of environmentally-friendly products.