Fortune Woods talks sustainability, challenges and moving forward

Mark Bonner, Sales Director at Fortune Woods, talks about its new sustainability range and how the business is fairing so far this year.

Cabinet furniture manufacturer Fortune Woods has taken a real stance on sustainability. This was evident during the recent January Furniture Show at the NEC in April where the company unveiled its new Reclaimed collection.

Mark Bonner, Sales Director at Fortune Woods, shares an insight behind the range, why it made sense for the brand and how the collection has been received following its launch.

“Fortune Woods launched a full new reclaimed collection. Whilst footfall was clearly down on previous years, we had a very successful show and were thrilled with the amount of interest and uptake from both existing and new customers.

“With more and more people concerned over the environment, recycling is becoming more popular and important to people. Our latest collections use recycled old doors. It’s a great story for the retailer to help with sales and perfect for people that are conscious about the environment.”

Mark’s not wrong. The story behind its Reclaimed range is one worth reading. So here goes.

Fortune Woods uses a supplier in Asia, who buys old doors from local villagers, where there is a daily stream of people coming to the workshops there to drop off the doors. Mark continues: “Our supplier accepts the wood and the villagers receive money to update their own homes.

“Some doors are small and plain; others are large and ornate. They are all mellowed with age and carry the marks of a long and useful life, which we then give a fresh lease of life too.”

 “Whilst the markets have been extremely difficult since the pandemic, as a company we have been very proactive in moving forward and developing new designs for the future.”

The Reclaimed range is fashioned from these old doors and other wooden pieces from old buildings. The wood gets recycled and skillfully repurposed into something new, all using traditional carpentry methods too.

“This is why you see small cracks along the grain, markings, blocking that replaces what were once holes and other variations in the surface,” says Mark. “The wood in this furniture has already stood the test of time and it displays the textures and depth that only come with age.

“The metal elements are specially hand-forged from iron for us by a master blacksmith, further encompassing a complete bespoke approach. This ensures that each piece is one of a kind and unlike any other.”

It really is a fascinating story from raw material to the finished article. Moving away from its new product range, Fortune Woods has also been busy expanding its headquarters to facilitate more space to show off more product.

“In-between the first lockdown periods, we moved to a larger warehouse where we now have the facility to do lots more,” Mark revealed.

“Our new HQ boasts a 50,000sq ft warehouse along with a new showroom, meeting room and offices. The warehouse gives the company more space to stock new collections, including our Reclaimed range, and existing products in much more depth. Our customers also have access to a livestock system, which is like having their own warehouse full of stock.

“It’s been a great investment and one that will help grow our business moving forward.”

In terms of growth, Mark said that it has been a ‘challenging’ time industry wide, but reaffirmed its focus on continually developing for the future.

“Business is generally still very challenging. Along with many businesses, we are having to deal with ocean freight increases and the global supply chain issues across the world, which are affecting material costs.

“Without a doubt as an importer, the cost of sea freight is the biggest challenge we are facing. We have very little control over the shipping costs, but with materials we are trying to be smart and work with our suppliers. Both designs and manufacturing techniques can also help to reduce costs.

“Whilst the markets have been extremely difficult since the pandemic, as a company we have been very proactive in moving forward and developing new designs for the future.”

Mark added that the team at Fortune Woods are fully focused on driving the business forward and are well underway with work on its new designs for the back end of the year and 2023, but remained tightlipped on any details for now.

“Our new ranges are very much under wraps at the moment, but watch this space!”

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