That was a question asked at a recent planning meeting for a now, sit down product photoshoot. All we needed were a few cushion samples, but it turned out that the answer to this question was - when you want to do it right - “much harder than you’d think!”.
We’ll come onto the reason why, but let’s start with a bit of background. Cushions are a bit of a commodity item - an easy way to refresh your interior decor and just as easily disposed of. They typically get lots of use and don’t last as long as furniture. The problem is, most local authorities can’t recycle cushions and charities don't take them, so they go straight to landfill. That’s because it’s difficult to know what they’re made from - typically it’s mixed materials, often with plastic weaved in to the mix.
We’re not comfortable with that, and that’s the reason we’ve found it hard to get our cushions made in the way we’d like. We’re very particular about how we do things and won’t settle for just any old cushions. Each element needs to be sustainable without compromising on the quality.
- We believe in using upcycled fabrics that don’t look or feel like upcycled fabrics, so we’ve worked closely with suppliers to identify the right materials to create our cushions, sourcing the best upcycled cotton and polyester mix. That means we’re staying true to our values by reusing materials that already exist in the world.
- Not only that, but we’ve sourced the best fabric from a company that turns textile waste from the fashion industry into premium yarn.
- For our cushion fillers, we use recycled feathers. Again, these are all materials that are out there already – nothing virgin. It's standard in the industry to buy liners pre-filled with feathers - but the off-the-shelf options we found used waste rather than recycled feathers, so were not right for us. Instead, we decided to make our own, working with local makers.
- We've made our logo tag from 100% recycled polyester and our product labels from certified organic cotton.
We’ve not yet found the right solution for our filler liners, but we’re working hard on it and getting close. We have trialled a few fabrics, including a fabric made from plastic sea waste, but so far nothing we've tried has held the recycled feather filling in place securely to keep your cushion plump and cosy. For now, we're using a liner that is 100% cotton, whilst we continue to source and test new solutions in the background.
If we told you how long we'd spent discussing product labels, you wouldn't believe us! We think it’s time well spent because we know our products will be reused. Our labels are designed with a website link to explain their composition and how they were made. This means that any future owner will know about the products they are bringing into their home - as well as how to return them to us under our Second Life Guarantee - when they no longer want them.
Of course, everything we're doing is made more of a challenge by the fact that we don’t have our own factory. Luckily, we work with a brilliant and accommodating UK-based partner who has supported us and our very precise requirements. When you sit back against a comfy now, sit down cushion, we hope that you’ll agree that the hard work has been worth it.
Kate & Louise
Co-founders now, sit down