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"Chest of Drawers: star-rating furniture from forest to home" - Guardian

Dezeen Wire:
London furniture company and Dezeen office-mates Chest of Drawers have been awarded a Guardian Sustainable Business Award for their system that rates the sustainability of each wooden product.

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Here are some more details from Chest of Drawers:

Local David is a match for the Goliaths at the Guardian’s Sustainable Business Awards

Independent furniture retailer Chest of Drawers scooped a Guardian Sustainable Business Award last night. Beating fellow finalists and multi-nationals Unilever and Lend Lease, the London-based business scored a shock victory in the supply chain category. Other category winners were Tesco, Levi, British Land and Marks & Spencer, but Chest of Drawers showed that you don’t need to be big to be innovative and make a difference.

The award particularly recognised Chest of Drawers’ Environmental Grading Scheme, which gives customers information on wood sources, workshop practices and transportation issues for individual furniture pieces.

The Environmental Grading Scheme is the only initiative of its type helping consumers make informed decision about the manufacture, sourcing and environmental impact of furniture. While food and clothing retailers have become more transparent about the origin of their products, furniture is still shrouded in secrecy. Yet nobody wants to find out that the chair they love comes from a protected hard wood or was built in a workshop with illegal employee practices.

Director Kim Corbett said “This means so much to us and all our staff, and of course credit belongs to our loyal customers too. We have always concentrated on long lasting, well- designed furniture from sustainable sources, but we never thought we could win an award in such salubrious company. We see this as simply another step in a long process of showing that businesses, large and small, can be run with a responsible attitude to the environment. This is a challenging time for small businesses so any recognition is hugely appreciated.”

There has been extensive coverage recently of “the death of the high street” and independents being squeezed out by larger chains, but Chest of Drawers tries to show that you do not need to be large to innovate. Small businesses may be perfectly placed to move quickly in response to changing customer priorities, as this award helps to demonstrate.

Chest of Drawers sells solid wood domestic furniture, lighting and accessories from three London stores and online. Its furniture includes its best-selling Caspian bedroom range made from reclaimed wood and bespoke solid oak dining tables. The emphasis is always on distinctive designs but made from traditional methods, often hand crafted. In many cases lifetime guarantees emphasise the confidence provided by the use of premium solid woods, no veneers and no flat pack self-assembled pieces.

Chest of Drawers has operated from its branch in Upper Street for over 25 years, with other branches now in Chiswick and Kingston.


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