OCHRE creates objects of style and beauty which are both timeless and contemporary. The collection consists of furniture, lighting and accessories with emphasis on the use of high quality craftsmanship. The simplicity and honesty of form, together with the luxurious materials, result in an understated elegance which has become the signature of OCHRE. Read more to find out what makes OCHRE sustainable.

How did your sustainability journey begin?

From the very beginning. We have always tried to build lasting relationships with local craftspeople who, in turn, would source their natural raw materials locally.  We create unique pieces with longevity in mind. Unlike fast fashion, we see each of our pieces as high quality heirlooms to be handed down through generations.  We were not labelling our pieces as ‘sustainable’ 27 years ago, it was more intuitive – to keep production in the UK and only use locally based skilled artisans, so we could call in to see them and work on new ideas.

Why is being sustainable so important to OCHRE?

Our primary inspiration comes from nature. Our designs and the materials we specify are all pivotal in our thinking, and are always at the heart of our design process. Each of our designs, through its story, making and material, is intimately and ultimately connected to our shared earth and meant to last a lifetime. From seedpods, pigments, trees, shells, fibres, pebbles, even the bark of a tree, are all examples that can be seen in our initial hand drawings of a piece inspired from beauty in nature. We have an innate love of the natural world, probably more now than ever, so the protection of nature is of such vital importance to us as designers.

What have you done so far to make OCHRE sustainable?

We have an ongoing programme to identify what we can further do to be more sustainable. We already use LED’s in our lighting, biodegradable fillings in our upholstery pieces, natural pigments and fibres and FSC approved woods.  Our packaging is recycled and is now almost all biodegradable. Our waste materials are all ethically managed and recycled, and we only engage with green energy providers who are 100% carbon neutral. We have installed secondary glazing and heating/lighting timers into our showrooms and planted troughs of flowers and plants to support local rewilding.  Earlier this year we collaborated with Eden Greenspace. They are the first environmental organisation to bring together a range of world-leading green projects with the specific aim of addressing the triple planetary crisis, as set out by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP): the climate crisis, the nature crisis and the pollution crisis.

With projects including tree-planting, wildflower rewilding, ocean plastic removal and solar lighting, their platform provides businesses with simple, highly effective and always quantified ways to restore our planet. Whether by contributing a percentage of revenue, or supporting each project per product sold, their personalised online system provides many ways to help incorporate sustainability into our business model.

What is your top-tip for making more sustainable choices?

We have a few:

  • Continually educate yourself and each other, and always be aware and conscious of organisations that can help support you in what you are striving to achieve.
  • Be personally accountable for the ethical decisions that you make on behalf of your business and customers.
  • Pay close attention to the provenance of a product and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

What are your future plans to keep OCHRE a sustainable brand?

We are constantly looking for ways to improve, from being aware of our personal consumption of raw materials, to sourcing new materials and makers to support future generations in rare and specialist crafts. We are proud to announce that we are in the process of becoming Butterfly Mark Certified. We are on the journey to becoming one of the Real Changemakers in luxury because we believe that the world’s challenges require leaps in transformation. The Butterfly Mark is only ever awarded to the luxury brands meeting higher and higher standards for people and nature. To earn it, we undergoing a comprehensive assessment built on the foundation of international agreements, global frameworks and standards, and even potential upcoming legislation. We’ll be assessed and scored by Positive Luxury on all areas of sustainability. That includes our impact on things like climate, nature and water (Environment), how we treat our workers and communities (Social), as well as how responsibly and ethically we manage our businesses (Governance). Because no detail is left out, the assessment can take up to a year to complete and we’ll be working closely with Positive Luxury throughout that time to identify the areas where we need to improve the most. This is the just start of our journey. But it’s a symbol that we stand for progress, difficult work over easy wins, and that we will never stop trying to improve.

Learn more about OCHRE and their sustainability initiatives.