Every shade of sustainability
What is most important in ensuring that Kinnarps' fabrics live up to the company's strict sustainability requirements?
"It isn't possible to pick one particular thing or one particular step in the process, since it's the totality that determines how sustainable a fabric is. Sustainability is a complex area, and we have to keep a lot of ideas and subtleties in mind at the same time," says Christina.
SYSTEMS FOR MONITORING
So let's try to do just that and follow at least some of the steps in the process. Choice of raw materials is of course an important starting point, and Kinnarps has effective tools for evaluating the environmental performance of fabrics.
"Roughly half of our fabrics are manufactured with natural materials and are naturally flameproof, and all our standard fabrics fulfil the toughest environmental requirements, and in many cases safety requirements, of the markets in question," says Christina.
Sustainable fabrics are also a matter of choosing capable suppliers, and at the moment Kinnarps are working primarily with European companies.
"In our experience, they have better monitoring of aspects concerning sustainability, since we have shared rules and standards. But it's also a matter of having fast, secure suppliers," says Christina.
She also points out that working for sustainability involves taking joint responsibility and that Kinnarps' suppliers should be regarded rather as partners.
"We like to work closely with other players, both inside and outside the furniture industry. This means being transparent and realising that we have to learn from one another."
AESTHETICS AND DURABILITY
Another step on the way towards a sustainable product is the design. Here, aesthetic considerations interact with factors such as the fabric's durability, systems for dealing with waste and procedures for recycling the raw material at the end of the cycle.
"If the customer wants to, and is able to, use our products over a long period, this contributes to a lower environmental impact, and in this way patterns, colours, quality and flexibility are all interconnected. It's all a matter of designing with sustainability in mind," says Christina.
Kinnarps has, for example, developed tools and methods for using as much as possible of the constituent raw material, and for making use of the waste which nevertheless arises. For example, part of the fabric waste is used as a filling in many of the company's sound absorbers.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ENTIRE CHAIN
The manufacturing and distribution stages are subject to the same strict sustainability requirements that apply to all Kinnarps' products. The same applies to the possibility of renovating, upgrading and re-using, with the aim of contributing to a circular economy.
"There's a lot happening in this area, and we'll never be finished, but the important thing is that we take responsibility for the entire chain and cooperate with partners, customers and other players to develop long-term sustainable solutions," says Christina.
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
of the textiles in the Kinnarps range are certified with EU Eco Label or Oeko-Tex.
of Kinnarps' waste materials are either recycled or used to generate energy.
of Kinnarps' sound absorbers consist of recycled material, 25% of which is fabric waste from their own production.
of Kinnarps' high-risk suppliers have been inspected.