We make conscious decisions in every aspect of our production: from the materials we work with to how our products are designed, manufactured and packaged. In each step we consider how we can minimise the environmental impact of our furniture and extend its lifetime.
We’re aware that each piece of furniture we create leaves an impact on the planet. This is why we make conscious decisions in every aspect of our production: from the materials we work with to how our products are designed, manufactured and packaged. In each step of our production we consider how we can minimise the environmental impact of our furniture and extend its lifetime.
As we want all of our furniture to last for years - if not forever - we always work with high-quality materials. To reduce our impact, we try to work with renewable, reusable, non-toxic materials as much and as realistically as possible. However, we are not there yet. For example we still use partly virgin stainless steel in our products, and some fabrics we use contain virgin polyester or acrylic. While we are still on a journey to improve our materials, we aim to be transparent with our choices and to share our challenges and breakthroughs along the way.
Wood is a renewable material that, if grown and harvested correctly, can be very sustainable. We maintain close relationships with our suppliers to ensure that the wood we use is coming from an FSC/PEFC certified source. The FSC and PEFC certification programmes ensure sustainable forestry practices that stimulate the natural growth of the forest and counter deforestation.
Since October 2020, all of the wood used in our dining tables, coffee tables, wooden dining benches, cabinets and dressers is FSC/PEFC certified. However, they don’t all carry the FSC or PEFC logo yet, as in addition to purchasing certified wood, our manufacturers need to have a FSC or PEFC chain of custody certificate as well. Our ambition is that by the end of 2022, all of our tables and cabinets will carry the FSC or PEFC logo.
HPL board consists of a thin sheet of HPL on a thick layer of MDF. HPL (High Pressed Laminate), is an innovative material made from paper and thermo-hardened resin. It is relatively durable, in part thanks to the self-healing properties of the material, giving dining tables a long lifespan that can last for years. Unfortunately, HPL does require a lot of paper.
MDF is a board material that consists of pressed wood fibres. The downside of wood fibres, in comparison with solid wood, is that the carbon dioxide doesn’t remain stored in the wood. Rather, it is released when the wood is shredded. Still – the material is relatively sustainable because it is long lasting even when used intensively. That is why we have decided to keep it in our collection for now, while we are looking for alternative materials.
Steel is frequently used in our current collection. It is a recyclable material, which means that the steel in damaged or discarded products can be recovered for the creation of new products. However, it is not a regenerative material. This depletes natural resources and emits a lot of greenhouse gases in its production. During the production process we never use more than necessary in order to avoid residual waste; and when designing new products we’re trying to avoid using steel and finding alternative, regenerative solutions.
We use powder coating to coat the steel which is environmentally friendly as no harmful substances are released during the coating process. The powder coating helps the steel become more resistant to scratches and wear to extend the metal’s lifetime.
When selecting fabric suppliers, we screen them for their environmental practices. We choose to work with suppliers, like Kvadrat, who offer fabrics that are certified by labels such as the EU ecolabel, Greenguard Gold, OEKO-TEX or the Leather Working Group. We are also expanding our range of recycled fabrics: in addition to our fabrics Facet and Olbia we will now offer two more recycled fabrics, Soil and Regain by Fabraa. We are also working on phasing out fabrics that don’t align with our sustainable values. For example the Triangle, Uniform Melange, Mosaic 2 and Vintage Leather fabrics have recently been removed from our collection.
One of the most sustainable options when it comes to wood-based boards is LivingBoard - a material made of wood chips and fibres from FSC/PEFC certified trees. It is pressed and glued together with formaldehyde-free glue and has a variety of certifications: Blauer Engel Ecolabel, Cradle to Cradle Silver, QGHW Premium. Living Board is 100% recyclable and (almost) 100% biodegradable. It is currently available in our Amoeba collection.
It all starts with the design. We work with circular design principles as much as possible, such as using modular elements that allow for easy assembly and disassembly and that enable easy repairs. We also give customers the opportunity to customise their pieces on size, finish and configuration. This means that each piece of furniture is custom made to suit the customers’ specific needs and home. It also allows us to work on a made-to-order-basis to reduce excess stock.
All our furniture is made-to-order, which means that all pieces are produced on demand which limits waste of raw materials and excess stock. When the furniture is produced, we work in batches to ensure efficiency and to limit waste.
Our entire collection is produced in Europe, and a great deal of it even in the Netherlands. We have good relationships with the suppliers that we work with and collaborate with them to enhance the sustainability of their manufacturing processes. For example, by looking at their waste management, material choices, working conditions and the use of green energy.
Almost all of our tables and most of our other furniture is designed to fit in flat-pack packaging - the exception being some of the frames of our round tables. As a result, less cardboard is used in the packaging which minimises the use of resources. In addition, transport is optimised which means that more products can be shipped in the same transport.
We also try to minimise the impact of our cardboard packaging. Since December 2020 all of the cardboard we use in our packaging is 100% FSC certified.
To protect our products during transport, we use sturdy packaging to minimise damage. In the furniture industry it is common to package with plastic as it’s an effective method of protection. However, we like to challenge the status quo and have partnered with an FSC certified packaging supplier who offers sustainable solutions for packaging our tables and cabinets. Together we’ve replaced the plastic corner profiles and protection edges with cardboard alternatives. The surface protectors of styrofoam were also replaced by cardboard inlays that only contain a very thin layer of expanded polystyrene to absorb shocks. Our next goal is to switch to a honeycomb cardboard inlay to replace the last bit of plastic too. Whilst we are proud of our solution for packaging our tables and cabinets, we are still using plastic packaging for our other furniture pieces such as sofas and dining chairs. We are actively looking into more sustainable solutions and hope to share some positive changes with you soon. By 2024 we want to have completely plastic-free packaging for all our products.
To maximise the lifetime of our products, we offer various services and we educate our customers about product maintenance with each purchase.
With each purchase customers receive maintenance tips to care for their product. We also provide helpful tips on our website to help customers care for their furniture in the best way possible.
Although all our furniture is made-to-order and handled with care, occasionally an item is damaged in transit or during use. The first solution is always to offer a repair, but on some occasions the item needs to be replaced. Instead of discarding the damaged item, we take it back to our skilled craftsmen for full repair. Repaired items are stored in our warehouse until they find a new home through our annual reSTORE event where we repurpose our excess stock.
Are you in need of a repair? Please contact our service team who will provide you with more information.
As our furniture is made-to-order, we have a non-refund policy. However, in some cases customers are allowed to return their item in consultation with our service team. But first we always try to create awareness with the client about the impact of a return, and look for alternative solutions. Just like the repaired items, the returned furniture is stored in our warehouse until our annual reSTORE event where we repurpose our excess stock.
To make sure the repaired and returned items find a new home, we host an annual reSTORE pop-up event where we repurpose our excess stock from repairs and returns. Nearly all products are sold, and those remaining either get stored in our warehouse for a next reSTORE event, or sent back to the original manufacturer. They can recover the materials (mostly wood) for reuse, or as a last resort process the waste materials into energy.
Our interior advisors offer guidance to customers when they customise their furniture, especially when it comes to upholstered pieces. We want to make sure that whatever choice our customers make, it is a long-lasting one. Still, it is possible that after a while someone is ready for a refresh. That is why we offer a refurbishment service for selected upholstered Studio HENK items. Please contact our service team to receive more information about the refurbishment service.
Although our furniture is designed to last for generations, occasionally a customer outgrows their purchase and refurbishment is not sufficient. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our products never end up in landfill. While we encourage our customers to try and repurpose their Studio HENK item, we also offer a reclamation service. Reclaimed items will be either refreshed or refurbished and sold through our annual reSTORE event. Or, when damaged beyond repair, they will be recycled with the highest material value possible.
If you are interested in using our reclamation service, please contact our service team.