Orange Otter, green at heart
At Orange Otter we care deeply about the world we live in. Which is why we spend so much time bringing new life to tired pieces of furniture that might otherwise be discarded and are always striving to reduce our impact on the world around us.
It’s a good starting point that our business is built around taking unwanted items such as old furniture, seats stripped out of theatres or simply discarded off cuts of wood or scaffold boards and through redesign, painting and refurbishing, turning them back into desirable objects.
Reducing landfill gives us an eco-friendly foundation that we build on through our production approach, using eco-friendly materials and packaging wherever we can.
"An average of 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded each year in the UK"
Eco-friendly production and materials
Luckily the quality of water-based paints and finishes has improved hugely in the last decade so we can create a beautiful, durable finish with no hidden nasties. All the paints we use are water-based, low VOC and sourced from small UK suppliers so we can support other small businesses like ours in the process.
Some of the prep and finishing products we use do contain some solvents, but where we can oils and waxes are based on natural ingredients, and we are always looking for planet-friendlier options that will give us the results we need.
Shot blasting, one of only a few environment-friendly options for corrosion removal and surface preparation, is used on the cast iron fittings of our cinema seats. The process only uses abrasion to clean the metal surface, no chemicals or acids are used.
Products built to last
We want our products to last, whether it’s refurbishing theatre seats that have already been in use for around 100 years so they can be used for another century, or piece of solid wood furniture, we repair, refurbish and finish to a high standard using quality materials so that our products will continue to stand the test of time. It helps that wood has the advantage of being easily repaired in the future so that it can live, change hands and be transformed for decades.
The fact that the vast majority of our deliveries are to customers based in the UK helps, but we also try to reciprocate this by buying locally too when it comes to paint, wood, fabric, hardware and tools. In the last year, 50% of our regular suppliers were based within 10 miles of us and the remaining 50% were all UK based.
Salvaged wood and FSC certified wood
Salvaged wood is used whenever we can, for example in many of our homeware products and we have a range of tables made from used scaffold boards. When new wood is required, we will only ever use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited wood that guarantees that it has come from sustainably managed forests that are socially and economically beneficial to local communities.
“Every year in the UK we throw out around 1.6m tonnes of furniture and bulky waste, most of which is buried in landfill or burnt in an incinerator. Conserving and re-using this furniture, on the other hand, would save valuable resources, create employment benefits and provide affordable items to local communities"
Eco-friendly FSC certified paper
All of our art prints are printed on heavyweight textured paper with exceptionally good environmental characteristics – FSC Certified, 20% recycled, 15% cotton fibres that still give the prints a luxurious, textured surface that is soft to the touch.
Avoiding plastic packaging
If you shop at Orange Otter you can be sure that your new purchase will arrive with no new plastic packaging. We use cardboard, wool blankets in delivery vans and paper based wrapping tape to ensure products arrive safely with you. We also make sure we reuse any packaging received when supplies are delivered to us, which can sometimes be plastic. So, if your item arrives wrapped in a mix of different packaging elements some which look preloved, that’s why.
There’s no getting around the fact that to deliver products to the level of quality we demand at Orange Otter we need to fire up a few power tools. To offset this we only ever purchase electricity from renewable energy suppliers.
All of this is a decent start, although we are always aiming to do more, driven by two key principles:
1. Reuse, recycle and reduce
2. Ethical, environmentally friendly sourcing
We are always open to new ideas on new eco-friendly ways of working, please drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any you think we would benefit from.