Tremendous response to Furniture Makers’ ecodesign event

The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, hosted its latest sustainability event on Wednesday 3 July at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London.

Focussed on the issues surrounding ecodesign, the workshop format proved to be extremely well received with many questions and discussions from the speakers and audience.

The event, which was sponsored by Blum UK, commenced with Jessica Alexander from the British Furniture Confederation providing an overview of the forthcoming EU legislation, Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). She was followed by Clare Carroll, strategic engagement manager at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a global non-governmental organisation. Clare offered insight into the organisation’s various initiatives and the importance of reducing waste within the furniture and furnishing sector.

There was considerable discussion around Digital Product Passports (DPPs) – a tool aimed at enhancing transparency about a product’s environmental impact – with Jessica Alexander also flagging up that this technology will be a requirement of the ESPR legislation. A presentation from Sohag Salauddin, from Technovative Solutions, offered a great insight into DPPs and the application for furniture. Already working on many EU funded projects, in particular the BASE standards (Battery Passport for Resilient Supply Chain and Implementation of Circular Economy), Sohag explained that the company is now applying this experience and knowledge to develop solutions for furniture and textiles.

Katie Furmston, head of design and research at Design Conformity, described the importance of design for greater circulatory and the availability of a specific software assessment tool to assist the process.

The event concluded with a panel discussion with Rollie Attard, CEO of Panaz; Tom Williams, sustainability & circular economy lead at the National Bed Federation; Paul Vaughan, technical services consultant at the British Furniture Manufacturers; and John Hubbard, technical consultant at the Furniture Industry Research Association and the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme, who considered the implications for manufacturers and suppliers across furniture, fabrics, and bedding.

Following a question and answer session, attendees continued the discussions during lunch.

Joanna Knight, chairman of the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee at The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “We were delighted with the response from the industry to this event. Attendees commented on the success of the workshop recognising that ecodesign is the lynchpin of the circular economy.

“Non-members of The Furniture Makers’ Company were required to purchase a ticket. We are delighted to report that over £600 was raised to be donated to our charity. That’s a double win – learning and fundraising.”

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