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As a society we are constantly striving to make better choices for the environment. Whether that’s by using fewer single-use plastics, changing energy supplier, or being more aware of the materials our household items are made from. It’s partly this reason that our sustainable outdoor furniture is increasingly sought after. We believe that sustainability should be at the heart of every company’s ethos. But what does ‘sustainable’ really mean?
The United Nations World Commission defines sustainability as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of furniture generations to meet their own needs’. So, if a product is not biodegradable or recyclable, it cannot be sustainable.
Sustainability begins at production. Using non-renewable resources during the manufacturing process will damage the environment, even if it’s a ‘natural’ product.
Products made from totally recycled materials, like our sustainable outdoor furniture, are better for the environment as the energy required to reuse materials is much less than that required to make new. The aluminium we use for Oxley’s Furniture may once have been anything from a drinks can to a car alloy wheel. But it can now be enjoyed as beautiful and sustainable outdoor furniture! We made this choice because recycling aluminium takes just 5 percent of the energy required to create new aluminium, which is better for the environment.
Another way to be sustainable is design products to be ‘irreplaceable’. If a product will last for generations and won’t end up in landfill at the end of its life, then it’s sustainable. The aluminium furniture made at Oxley’s is always totally recyclable, so our furniture can be made back into a drinks can or car alloy, or maybe into another metal furniture set. Deciding to purchase high-quality, metal garden furniture, over plastic or wooden alternatives, means you are purchasing a set that could technically last forever, but will have a much smaller impact on the environment. Done the Oxley’s way, it will last for generations.
This is all well and good, but how do you tell the difference between a company doing good, and one seeming to do good? This is where the holistic view of the entire company operations comes into play. Using recycled packaging, as we do, or using energy-efficient products will make a huge difference to a company’s true sustainability credentials. At Oxley’s, we invest in the newest energy efficient equipment so that we are continually reducing our environmental impact. We also only work with suppliers that are strongly committed to sustainability, like those that supply the fabric for our cushions. Sustainability should be a business-wide commitment to instil real change, which we are proud to be doing here at Oxley’s.
For more ideas on how to create a sustainable garden, for example investing in sustainable outdoor furniture, read our step-by-step guide.