In our first COVER podcast, which is now live on Soundcloud, Editor Lucy Upward talks to Simon Goff, owner of London rug brand Floor Story, and business sustainability consultant Sally Burtt-Jones of 11 TwentyTwo. Together they have just produced Floor Story’s first Impact Report, looking into levels of sustainability within the company. This is now available to view on the Floor Story website. During the discussion, Simon and Sally talk candidly about the long process of creating the report and the interesting questions they found along the way. Here we publish the opening discussion of the podcast.

Lucy: I wanted to ask you first, Simon, what made you decide to do a sustainability audit on Floor Story? Was it something that came from customers’ demands or was it a personal decision?

Simon: We do have a lot of people asking about sustainability. People are asking for it, but I wasn’t really driven by my customers as such. We have always wanted to be a good company and have a positive impact on the world. We are GoodWeave certified and they focus a lot on the welfare of the people we work with. I wanted to take it one step further, look at the impact our business has on the world, find out what that impact is and try to reduce that as much as possible. We always want to do better as a company.

I can probably explain later how we got the data because to get it we had to go quite far back. We had to work out every single rug we had sold, where they came from, where they ended up, the percentage of materials in the rugs, how it was made, what the weight was, many different permutations. Thankfully we had Sally, who knew how to do all of this.

Lucy: With such an in-depth look at the company, did you find any of the results surprising?

Simon: I thought we used more manmade fibres. I was pleased to report that the majority of what we used is wool. In an ideal world, I would only be selling 100-knot, hand-knotted, pure wool rugs. Not everyone has the budget for that. We do sell tufted rugs. We are trying to find ways of making that a better product in itself. I’m talking to someone now about the end-of-life issues. We found someone who can possibly take them apart and use the backing to make concrete and all kinds of things. Nothing is certain yet, but we are investigating ways to solve this issue.

For me, design is about storytelling, I find the creative process intriguing and, in my work, both as an interior designer, and as a writer, integrity plays an important role vis-à-vis the brands I’m drawn to. At 3DD, there was an abundance of rug brands which demonstrated how diverse and elevated the global rug market has become, and how vital it is for brands to evolve to appeal to a discerning global clientele. From brands steeped in tradition, to relatively new ateliers, one could experience vibrancy, sparkle and iridescence on one end of the spectrum; to down-to-earth, calming and ethereal brands at the other.  So, without further ado, here is a brief insight into my favourite rug finds at 3DD.

To listen to the full podcast ‘COVER Conversation: Sustainability in rug design with Floor Story’ see below:

Want to collaborate with Elena and Lucy for the Following the Thread podcast?

Elena Wyszynski | elena.wyszynski@hali.com


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