We don’t like waste so one of our sustainability goals here at Niki’s Soft Furnishings Ltd is to reuse remnant fabrics wherever possible.  Our mission over the last few years has been to find local enterprises that can turn our offcuts into beautiful products.

We find uses for our fabric offcuts wherever possible

We find uses for our fabric offcuts wherever possible.

We’ve found a few such enterprises and will be showcasing each enterprise through our blogs.  Georgia has been chatting to one of those enterprises that use our remnant fabrics to find out a little more about them and below is what she discovered.

Gentle on the Planet

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with the people at Gentle on the Planet.   This is a wonderful company that creates luxury products out of waste products from the textile industry. They are a local company and we love the work they do. This company is dedicated to preventing fabric offcuts from ending up in landfills which inspired their label “Luxury from Landfill”. On top of all of the other brilliant qualities, Barbara and Rod generously donate to Lupus UK, a charity that is very close to our hearts. Barbara answered some questions for me about what she does and how she is living a more eco life. 

Q.  Firstly, I would love to know exactly what you do and why you do it? 

A.  I make bags and other homewares from waste/leftover/end of roll upholstery and soft furnishings textiles. I have always loved fabrics and I am also very creative so having access to so many fabulous fabrics enables me to combine these to pursue my passion for bag designing and making.

Rucksack made from fabric remnants by Gentle on the Planet

Rucksack made from fabric remnants by Gentle on the Planet

Q.  What inspired you to go into this industry?

A.  I was inspired when I realised that there was so much waste product that could be turned into something that people would want, cherish and use whilst at the same time in my own small way reducing the amount of fabric being sent to a landfill.

Q.  Where do all of your beautiful fabrics come from? 

A.  I currently work with 3 factories, all of whom have our social consciousness, in that they know that they have wasted but they are determined and committed that it should not end up in landfill,  Niki’s Soft Furnishings Ltd being one.

Reuse of fabric remnants

Click here to read our sustainability ethos.

Favourites

Q.  Out of all of your products, which is your favourite?

Bags made by Gentle on the Planet using some of Nikis Soft Furnishings fabric remnants.

Bags made by Gentle on the Planet using some of Nikis Soft Furnishings fabric remnants.

A.  I have two favourite products, both of which I designed to fulfil a need. 

My Marazion over-body mini messenger bag is so useful and handy that I use one almost every day. 

My other favourite is my Gyllyngvase mini roll-top backpack – again it is so useful, so handy and is large enough to carry all of the essentials needed for a day out or a day at work. 

Q.  I know you get to work with a variety of fabrics, which are your favourites? 

A.  My favourite fabrics are the natural materials – wool, silk, cotton – because the look and feel of these are really lovely but they are not always the easiest to work with and so can be quite challenging. 

Whilst by no means my favourites I feel a responsibility to give a second life to all man-made fabrics such as polyesters and nylon as they take many years to decompose in a landfill and so are best re-used. 

Eco tip

Q.  What is one tip that you would like to share with anyone who wants to make their day to day life more eco?

A.  My main tip for becoming more eco friendly and compliant is to look and consider carefully any product that you are buying or throwing away. 

When buying, for example, is there an alternative to plastic or is the product biodegradable? reduce reuse and recycle

When throwing it away is it possible to give the item a new and useful life? E.g always save packaging to reuse. 

Always remember that 7 billion people making little steps to a better planet becomes a massive step and each and every purchase that we make is a vote for the kind of planet that we want. 

Q.  The world is full of ups and downs, so what is the hardest part of what you do? 

A.  By far the hardest part is trying to live by the principles and ethos of my business. 

No one is perfect and it is not always easy in modern life to do what I know is right every time. 

Simple daily conundrum – if I go to the shop and forget my bags, what to do? Balance and juggle items without dropping them or leaving the shopping because I simply cannot bring myself to buy a plastic or jute bag?

Last thoughts.

Q.  Any parting words of wisdom for those reading?

A.  I would say that my main aim and my main ethos in this journey is to try to make eco products that, as well as being planet kind, are accessible to all. 

I am fortunate to have lovely people who donate to me their waste fabric, my duty is to make that fully accessible by charging for my labour so as to make all of my products affordable to all. 

Being eco friendly should not be elitist. 

Our sentiments exactly.

We couldn’t agree more with these sentiments and ethos and we hope that this might inspire you to go on and make eco-conscious choices and check out the beautiful products that Barbara and Rod make. You can see them all on their website and see upcoming projects on their Instagram (@luxuryfromlandfill).

Also, remember if you have some fabric offcuts leftover from an interior project, think about the possibility of using them for scatter cushions, covering dining chair seat pads or covering a lampshade.  With a little imagination, we can create beautiful items and at the same time reduce our waste.  It’s got to be a win-win as the saying goes.

Thank you for reading, 

Georgia and the team at Niki’s Soft Furnishings.  

Use remnant fabric for Lampshades, dining chair seat pads or scatter cushions

Remnant fabrics can be used for lampshades, dining chair seat pads or scatter cushions