We love turning recycled materials into treasured possessions, so does London-based company Foresso. They have come up with a way to make beautiful terrazzo out of wood scraps.
For our latest campaign, we worked together to create stylish set pieces to complement our classic handbags. We had a talk with Conor Taylor, director of Foresso, to explore our similar points of view.
A: Foresso started as a reaction against the disposable culture in high-end interiors. I was working in a joinery workshop in South London and wanted to find a use for all the beautiful timber we would just chuck away as offcuts. Terrazzo suits us perfectly because we can use every last bit of the wood and natural variance is celebrated rather than hidden.
A: All our wood comes from British cities where the trees are felled for development or maintenance, everything we use would go to waste so we are creating a new circular economy. We also use lots of wood dust from local sawmills.
A: We have been very resilient to all the supply chain issues. While everyone else's lead times have been going up, ours have gone down dramatically! It's also ideal being in the Midlands as this is the heart of manufacturing and logistics for the UK so we've been able to put together a great team.
A: For us sustainability isn't just about finding a use for waste material but it's also about how the company is run on a day to day basis. Every decision we make is first informed by our sustainability and ethical policies. For instance, we eliminated single use plastics from production, our factory is run entirely on renewable energy, and we've radically changed our supply chains to reduce travel distances.
It's also important to engage with our local community to help other businesses become more sustainable, we're on several local council committees where we advise on how to reduce the impact of manufacturing on the environment. We hope that we can show that sustainability is achievable through incremental improvements as the big "net zero" target can be daunting for many companies.
A: This is a bit boring but I really like the big commercial projects we've completed recently! It's so satisfying to see 50 or more sheets all finished and in a stack ready to ship, it just shows how far we've come as it wasn't that long ago that making just a few sheets was a huge effort. It's also really encouraging to see big companies and brands putting their money where their mouths are and making an effort to make more responsible choices.
A: We've got a lot happening! New standard colours - including a version of Foresso made from our own sanding dust and no wood chips for a really gentle tactile finish. We're working on new flat pack furniture and want to make local sustainable production more accessible.
Photography by Luke A. Walker, Tom Bird, and Jakob Ericsson.