Raw Materials and sustainability
FOR CONSCIOUS LIVING
Since its foundation in 1998, it has been in Raw Materials’ DNA to recycle materials and to give old objects a second life. In our view, sustainability goes beyond minimizing damage to the environment. We try to be aware of the impact on people & the environment of every step of the production and logistics process, up to the consumer. Ultimately, everyone can make the choice not to buy something if products are not made in a responsible manner. We would therefore like to share how we work and what Raw Materials stands for.
CONSCIOUS ABOUT THE MATERIALS WE USE
We like to work with recycled and natural materials for our collections. Many of our products are made of wood, which is why we consciously choose wood whose origin is responsible. We work with recycled wood, FSC-certified wood or wood from sustainably managed plantations.
A few years ago we supported a young entrepreneur in India to make furniture and accessories with recycled wood from old houses and factories. Together we design new collections, such as the Factory, Elements, Scrapwood and Farmwood collections. We then supported the company in obtaining FSC certification. This quality mark guarantees that the entire chain from the purchase of the wood to the end product is 100% recycled wood. We can now proudly say that Raw Materials is one of the few companies in the European interior design industry that is itself FSC certified. All the above collections will therefore carry the well-known FSC logo on the products and packaging!
Where recycled wood is not available or suitable for our collections, we work with wood from sustainably managed plantations. In Indonesia, the teak and white cedar we use for our Loft, Nova and Craftsman collections comes from plantations that are sustainably managed by the government. These types of wood do not grow in the primary forests and their use does not damage tropical rainforests. Since 2016, the entire chain from tree felling to the export of all goods made from wood has been regulated under the FLEGT system. All the wood used by Raw Materials in Indonesia is part of this and is certified as legal wood (V-legal).
CONSCIOUS ABOUT TRADITIONS & CRAFTSMANSHIP
Raw Materials has an extensive selection of vintage furniture & accessories. The appreciation for old traditions, art and beautiful wood carvings was the reason for the start of our company and we have been known for years for our unique interior treasures.
We love the rugged beauty of old cabinets, chests and doors because of the stories they tell. Due to years of intensive use, the various paint layers are often weathered or a beautiful patina is created.
All items that we buy during our purchasing trips are kept as original as possible. In addition to cleaning, we only do minimal repairs where necessary. so that the origin of the object remains visible and respected.
Our mission is to preserve our unique vintage pieces and pass them on to new owners so that the traditions and craftsmanship can be admired for years to come.
CONSCIOUS ABOUT OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Raw Materials works with small to medium-sized companies. Simple machines and tools are used to standardize production and allow for larger quantities. However, almost every Raw Materials article requires the skills of a carpenter, weaver or welder to give each product its own character.
Raw Materials’ buyers and designers regularly visit all workplaces of its partners. We work out the designs of the new collections, look for the right materials and also check whether the working conditions are safe. We only want to work with companies that treat their employees in a responsible manner. That’s why we ask as many questions as it takes to get a full picture of the conditions in which our products are made. If we see room for improvement, we provide advice: from waste recovery to ventilation, from working hours to set up savings and credit systems for employees.
We have been working with most of our partners for many years and new companies are always visited before we start working with them. We believe working with these companies will help them grow sustainably and compete in an ever-changing world. In addition, it is important that income is generated for local artisans and their families.
CONSCIOUS ABOUT OUR FOOTPRINT
The ecological footprint we make as a company goes beyond the raw materials we use. In every production process, there are residual or waste products. All the wood that remains after production is used for other purposes. When pieces are big enough, small decoration items are made, such as our wooden letters. Sawdust and the smallest bits are also collected as fuel to heat up the drying ovens, where the wood is dried to reduce the moisture content.
Part of our range is made exclusively from recycled or waste materials. Items that would otherwise have been discarded and sent to landfills are repaired or made into something else to start a new life.
After production is completed, we pack our goods with recyclable cardboard. We are constantly looking for ways to minimize the use of plastic in packaging. For example, for our webshop we use recycled sheets of paper in the cardboard boxes instead of commonly used plastic packaging materials.
The shipment of goods from Asia to Europe is done with full containers, by large container ships. These container ships run on heavy fuel oil and in total make a significant contribution to global CO2 emissions. However, the ships are so large that on average more than 10,000 containers are shipped on one boat. As a result, container transport is relatively efficient. As a result, container transport is regarded as much less harmful to the environment than air freight, but also as road transport over much shorter distances. By also ensuring that each container is fully packed, the carbon footprint of each item shipped is kept to a minimum.
CONSCIOUS ABOUT OUR CUSTOMERS
Our customers are also aware of their footprint! They realize that the size of their footprint is not only a result of what they do or don’t do, but also what products they buy.
We all want to make our homes cozy and buy beautiful interior products, but we also want to feel good about our purchase. That’s why we want to show you the story behind our brand and be transparent about the way we manufacture our collections.
From the origin of the materials to your living room: our goal is to bring conscious living into every interior!