Waste is a huge problem in the interiors industry. However, the societal focus to move towards a more sustainable future is making brands think about how they can operate in a more sustainable way.
We sat down with Jules Haines, founder and director of Haines Collection, to understand how she is fighting against interior waste and how we, as a collective, can think more sustainably.
Q: What was your founding mission and motivation for the Haines Collection?
J: Our mission is to reduce waste in the interiors industry. Having worked for a textile designer for over five years, I know first hand how much waste there is; the issue for most people is that they don't have time to deal with waste or even know what to do with it.
I wanted to create a beautiful, elevated platform that could allow people from within the industry to resell any usable waste – and make the process easier than throwing it in the bin. We all need to work harder to recycle what we can, so the Haines Collection is the recycling and rehoming of unwanted fabrics, wallpaper, lights and accessories.
Q: How much waste is there in the industry?
J: I have done a fair amount of research into this, but the information and data just isn't there – so, the short answer is that nobody knows exactly. Anyone working in the industry will have an idea as they have seen it, but it's not yet been quantified.
However, what we do know is that, according to a study by WRAP, approximately 900,000 tonnes of textile waste ends up in landfill (or is incinerated) each year – with 42% of the waste coming from homeware textiles.
Q: How has the design industry reacted to the Haines Collections?
J: They have welcomed us with open arms and been hugely supportive. They know waste is an area which needs to be addressed, so we are very thankful to everyone who has got onboard and started to think about the end of life for their items.
Q: What Haines Collection items are the most popular and which materials do you get most excited about?
J: Oh wow what a question! It doesn't take much to get us excited over a beautiful fabric, but I handpick everything that goes on our website so it's all high quality and exciting. Everyone has their weakness, but the designs that fly off the shelves are Pierre Frey, Soane, Fermoie, Christopher Farr, Ottoline and Rapture and Wright.
Q: What further changes would you like to see/make in the design industry?
J: In general, I would like the industry to feel more open and approachable. There are still elements of the business that seem like an exclusive club or are closed off, which is a shame. We are all about design and encouraging creativity.
Q: What are your top five easy ways people can become more sustainable?
- Avoid one use plastic, that's a big one.
- Buy second hand where possible, it's a much better option.
- Look for products that have an eco alternative - toothbrushes, plastic bags etc.
- Change your light bulbs to LED
- Use paper tape instead of sellotape.
Generally just be mindful, think about your consumption and where you can pull back or change. Being sustainable is not always easy, or even possible (some options may be too expensive, for example), but I think if everyone tries their best to make small changes, we can make a huge difference.
Being more sustainable is a work in progress, so enjoy the wins and don't beat yourself up over the losses.
Q: Do you have any upcycling ideas?
J: Oh wow, this is endless – my favourite has to be lampshade making. I run lampshade making workshops where you can create a beautiful bespoke shade from a small scrap of fabric. You won't need to buy an off-the-shelf lampshade ever again, once you know how to make one.
Q: We love your new range of lighting, what is next on the horizon for the Haines Collection?
J: We have some exciting collaborations in the pipeline, a big trade event in October, and we plan to expand our Christmas Gift Shop this November to encourage buying presents made from recycled fabric.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but now it’s also a time to think about if we really need all the items we give or receive. I, for one, would much rather receive a present that I know has had a low impact on the environment.
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to learn more about how to become more sustainable when it comes to furniture, try reading our top 10 upcycling furniture ideas, 5 sustainable ways to upgrade your living room, or eco-friendly and sustainable furniture buying guide.
Alternatively, see how we’re working towards becoming more sustainable here.