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World Environment Day is on 05 June. It is the United Nations Day to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment, this year’s theme focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. The focus on the environment got us thinking about the impact sustainable ways of working have on ours and other interior design businesses. We are seeing more and more clients who are conscious of the choices they make and are opting for more sustainably sourced products, not just in interior design but generally in day-to-day living. 

In our blog this month, we wanted to share some things to consider when planning your next eco-friendly window dressing project. Fabric choice is just one part of the jigsaw, we also need to consider the printing process, our carbon footprint and how we recycle materials.

1. Selecting Sustainable Fabric

When working on your next eco-friendly window dressing project, the first thing to consider is which fabric to choose; natural fabrics such as linen, cotton or silk are some obvious options. A lot is also happening in the fabric industry to help recycle and reuse polyester and acrylic fabrics. Many sustainable fabrics now use recycled or upcycled materials, reducing waste that goes into landfills and the need to use natural resources.

Linen is perhaps one of the most traditional, practical and durable choices for curtains, it is really versatile and does not use any chemicals in the production process. It also helps to create a natural relaxing atmosphere in your home.  

Cotton is also a versatile fabric that can be used in a number of different rooms, from kitchens or dining rooms to bedrooms. One key advantage of cotton curtains is their ability to help regulate and maintain a comfortable room temperature.

Silk is perhaps a more delicate choice for your window dressing and may require a little more care. They can also fade easily, and whilst they are perhaps more susceptible to sun damage, adding a lining can help minimise the impact this has. Silk curtains hang very well and are perfect for adding a touch of luxury to a scheme.

Many of our suppliers offer sustainable fabric options. One of our firm favourites is the Fleck Eco, Wave, Leaf II, and Flow fabric ranges from Kirkby Design by Romo. Click HERE to see the full collection.

2. An Eco-Friendly Approach to the Printing Process

Traditionally, many fabric print houses would have used screen printing to add a design or pattern onto material. However, as awareness of the environment has increased and customers want to consider a more sustainable approach, digital printing has become more popular. Digital printing is an eco-friendly alternative that uses inkjet technology to apply designs directly onto the fabric. This eliminates the need to create screens, reduces water consumption and enables more intricate patterns to be printed without excessive wastage of ink.

It is not only the printing process and the technique itself that needs to be more environmentally conscious, but also consideration should be given as to how to dispose of the unwanted inks. Print manufacturers are now encouraging the return, recycling and refilling of ink cartridges. There has also been a significant shift in how inks are produced, with many moving away from petroleum-based inks to renewable oils and resins or water-based inks. These natural bases, derived from plants such as soy, linseed and canola, offer a renewable alternative and enhance the ink’s biodegradability.

3. Ways Of Reusing Or Recycling Unwanted Materials

The fabric choice is just one part of the eco-friendly window dressing project; consideration should also be given to the curtain pole. Depending on your scheme and design, there are many curtain options. Bamboo or wood grown in an FSC environmentally friendly forest are good places to start. Of course, poles made of recycled metals or reusing an existing pole can also be an option. 

4. Carbon Footprint

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses (including carbon dioxide and methane) generated by our actions. Every time we drive in our car, transport cargo in an aircraft, use our laptops, turn on our lights or turn on the heating, we contribute to our carbon footprint. For a fabric house or interior design business, being mindful of reducing our carbon footprint is key to taking a more sustainable approach.

In Summary

Whilst each fabric house will have a different CSR policy, it is good to see a more environmental focus on fabric production and usage. Another one of our favourite fabric houses that is really focusing on this is Fermoie who have a great range of new summer fabrics that have just launched.  To read more about their policies, click HERE.

Summer is a great time to replace your window dressings. If you would like to freshen up your home and outdoor space in readiness for the summer months and outdoor entertaining, please get in touch to discuss your next project. Remember, we are also offering a FREE initial design consultataion and have a range of exciting summer fabrics with a sustainable focus that we would love to share with you.


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