The Focus on Sustainable Living
The climate crisis has made us all aware of the importance of adopting greener, healthier, and more sustainable practices in everything we do. Industries across the globe are responding to the demand for more ethical and sustainable goods and for furniture manufacturers this means careful consideration of materials, methods of production, transportation and many other factors in order to minimise their carbon footprint.
The use of reclaimed wood for all of the furniture that we import is one way that we at Kayu Home can help to lower the impact on the earth's resources. Our workshops in China and Indonesia are committed to using recycled materials, with the timber they work with taken from industrial or residential buildings that are being demolished for redevelopment. The finishes are natural, water based or waxed and so are kinder to the environment than chemicals, as well as giving a warm, tactile feel and highlighting the character of the wood itself. The sideboard shown here is part of our Linyi range, produced from reclaimed elm timbers with a natural finish that shows off the wonderful wood grain.
Where we don't directly import our own products, we carefully choose suppliers whose ethos is similar to our own. Their focus is also on sustainable products, as well as in many cases supporting communities in Asia by using small ateliers and family workshops. They will also use reclaimed wood for furniture, either taken from old buildings or in some cases using old railway sleepers. This not only means less use of freshly-milled timber and deforestation, but also means that fewer materials are sent to landfill when buildings are demolished. Some of our furniture, including our Iron & Mango Wood range, uses other recycled materials along with timber, in this case iron that is disassembled, reshaped and reformed into new designs.
Manufacturers of homewares are also getting creative in their use of old materials. For example our latest cushions and rugs are produced from 100% recycled materials including plastic drinking bottles, while some of our pots and planters are made from old iron storage drums used in the motor industry.
Our glass vases and and tableware are handmade from recycled glass. Waste glass is first collected and washed to remove impurities, melted down and then hand blown or moulded into wonderful new products.
Perhaps the ultimate way to reduce our impact on the environment as consumers is not to buy recycled goods but to buy and dispose of fewer products altogether. There is a noticeable shift in focus away from the throw away society towards well-made products, choosing quality over quantity, classic over trendy and long lasting pieces that can be recycled for future generations.
In many ways vintage and antique furniture is the ultimate in sustainable living as it uses almost no new resources other than for transport. An antique is said to have a carbon footprint up to sixteen times lower than modern, newly manufactured furniture and buying old will always be more sustainable than buying new.
Lovingly restored vintage and antique pieces offer uniqueness - something different to ever changing high street trends. Even one carefully chosen antique can bring real presence and ‘pack a punch’ used as an accent piece in the right setting, and they are becoming firm favourites among interior design professionals.
Our own range of vintage and antique furniture is sourced from suppliers around Asia that we have worked with for many years. The range focuses on pieces with a simple, natural look that shows off the quality of workmanship and wonderful patina that develops over many years. The sideboard and table shown here, both from China, are great examples of the textures and wonderful aged finises that you'll find in the range. Along with Chinese antique cabinets that make wonderful statement pieces, you'll also find vintage furniture from India and Indonesia.
It has taken many years but the vast majority of us now recognise how vital it is to minimise our impact on the environment and this covers every aspect of our lives. Our homes and are key part of this, from energy efficiency and reducing waste, to the careful selection of the products we buy to make our house a home.