Putting policy into practice
When we launched in 2006 Harlands was the first upholstery company in the UK to work exclusively with organic fabrics and materials to produce ethical, non-toxic, environmentally sustainable upholstered furniture.
Many organisations have wonderful sounding ethical statements but, often, once you scratch beneath the surface there is little of any substance. Harlands is different. The details below illustrate the specific action we are taking to put our policy into practice:
Our upholstered furniture is handmade by UK based craftsmen using sustainable materials sourced from the UK, Germany and Scandinavia.
The materials we use for our upholstery are environmentally sustainable. We use natural and organic materials that comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 without the use of chemical flame retardants. Current stringent UK fire regulations require all UK furniture manufacturers and upholsterers to comply with fire regulations which has led to the wide spread use of chemical flame retardants. However, there is evidence that certain flame retardants can off gas and find their way into our bodies with potentially harmful effects on our health. Formaldehyde, found in chemical flame retardants as well as wood preservatives and glues, are known to cause symptoms such as nausea, coughing, allergic reactions and fatigue, according to the World Health Organisation, it can cause cancer in humans and animals. Environmental lobbyists are encouraging manufacturers to replace the more problematic chemical flame retardants with non-toxic or natural alternatives. Furthermore, most chemical flame retardants have been tested on animals as have synthetic dyes, scotch guard, finishers and chemicals used within conventional textiles and furnishing materials.
The materials we use include organic cotton, hemp and organic wool from a sustainable source, harvested without harm or cruelty to the living animal.
All of our wool from sheep and alpaca comes from the UK as we believe in supporting British organic farmers.
All of the fabrics we use are biodegradable and the dyes are non-toxic and have a low impact on the environment.
All the woods in our furniture are recycled or sustainable, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified and formaldehyde-free.
We use non-toxic, formaldehyde-free, water-based glues and our wood finishes are non-toxic, polyurethane-free and environmentally friendly.
We only work with peace silk, where the moth has been able to mature and leave the cocoon to complete its natural life cycle.
Instead of using feather down, we use organic wool balls. Most feathers are a by product of the meat industry but due to large scale intensive farming of birds for meat and down the welfare of these birds cannot be guaranteed.
We are committed to working with suppliers who, like ourselves, have an ethical policy regarding their workers. This ensures that all the workers within the supply chain receive a fair wage and work in a healthy and safe environment.
We are concerned about animal welfare. We only work with suppliers who can guarantee that all the animals which provide us with materials are treated humanely.
We don’t use leather in our products; we do not consider 55% of an animal to be a by-product and it may have been produced in a country which fails to follow animal welfare laws. The chemicals used in tanning are highly toxic to those working in the factories and living nearby.
For each sofa and chair we produce a tree will be planted by plantyourtree.co.uk.
All of our textile waste is recycled by designer-maker Sarah Baulch at revampit.co.uk who makes pre-consumer waste textiles into gorgeous home furnishings.