With much of our attention (rightly so) being directed at living more sustainably, how does a company that specialises in huge wood-slab tables and leather sofas continue to grow and justify its business? Our Home Editor, Kel, sat down with WILTON and CHASE, the founders of furniture store Grey and Sanders, to find out.
I love walking into the huge and contemporary Grey and Sanders showroom in the Tan Boon Liat Building. The wood and leather smells are so rich and inviting; it makes you want to run your hand over everything! But it does also make me wonder: how are these products sourced? Are these sustainable materials? So, I asked Wilton and Chase the hard questions.
Is your furniture sustainable?
There has been a trend, especially amongst families that relocate frequently, to purchase cheap, mass-produced furniture that deteriorates quickly. These pieces are then easily and irresponsibly thrown away when they’re not required anymore.
But the sustainable furniture items we stock are pieces to be kept for a long time, in a multitude of locations. By doing so, we help to reduce landfill, reduce factory manufacturing emissions and reduce deforestation.
Where do you source the wood and leather from?
Our wood-slab factories are accredited with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. FSC is a global organisation that controls the wood source and ensures the forests where the wood is sourced are managed responsibly, both environmentally and socially.
The FSC even monitors the companies along the supply chain before it gets to the end user. If the materials and all the businesses involved come under this FSC certification, it means the forests can remain prosperous environments for future generations. We encourage all our customers to think about and question the source of everything they buy.
Are the wood slabs produced and finished in a sustainable way?
Wood slabs are more environmentally friendly as the yield from logs is higher. Parts of the wood that would have been thrown away is now used in the slabs. Solid wood is more eco-friendly than engineered wood, too, as there are fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emitted.
We also verify that our craftsmen only use sustainable finishings. For example, Rubio Monocoat is a natural oil finish and doesn’t contain chemical products. We also use OSMO, a natural dry finish, which is so safe it is certified for use on children’s toys.
Our slabs can be refinished or cut up to form different types of furniture – nothing is wasted. It’s a lifetime investment, unlike other furniture that gets disposed of once it goes out of style.
What about the leather you use in your sofas?
Our leather tannery is certified to show the chemicals used to produce the leather do not harm the environment. They are certified by REACH, a European standard that aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment.
We ensure our leather is sourced from farms that do not graze their cattle in deforestation zones – they’re also committed to animal welfare.
Leather is a natural material, whereas vegan leather is made of plastic (PVC/PU). It also has higher durability than its synthetic lookalike, which means leather sofa can last a lot longer. And leather is also biodegradable. This means a reduction of the amount of waste in the environment.
So, if you’re in the market for a new sofa, dining room table, coffee table, shelving or seating, consider using a responsible company like Grey and Sanders. They have thought through their impact on the environment and how buying sustainable furniture can reduce our long-term impact on the world.
#06-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road
8371 8864 | greyandsanders.com
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