Online Exclusive: Nick Booth, Managing Director, Harrison Spinks Beds

Editor’s Note: For the December Beds by Design feature titled, “The Path to Sustainable Design,” we asked industry leaders to fill out a questionnaire about their creative process. Turns out, they are so passionate about the topic that we couldn’t use all their sage insights in the print feature. So, we’ve decided to post the entirety of their Q&A’s online, allowing you, our valued audience, to read all their good answers. This interview with Nick Booth, managing director for Harrison Spinks Beds, is the fifth of a seven-part, online-only series that we will post weekly throughout the month of December. Most of all, our sincerest thanks to the executives who participated in the sustainable design feature to help educate the industry about a future defined by a circular economy.

What does sustainable design mean for your company?

UK Sustainable Luxury Mattresses. All of Harrison Spinks’ mattresses are glue-free and FR chemical-treatment free. The company grows most of its own natural fibers and partners with British Wool on its responsible wool initiative.
All of Harrison Spinks’ mattresses are glue-free and FR chemical-treatment free. The company grows most of its own natural fibers and partners with British Wool on its responsible wool initiative.

Sustainable design is at the heart of every product that we make. Our purpose is ‘Together, we are Passionate about Creating a Healthier and Happier World,’ and sustainability is at the heart of this ethos. We are the U.K.’s most vertically integrated, luxury bed and mattress manufacturer, growing and processing our own natural fillings on our own farm (we are the U.K.’s largest grower of hemp, a carbon-negative super crop), and we are working toward being fully organic by 2025. We draw our own wire and manufacture our own award-winning pocket and micro springs using highly efficient, home-designed machinery. We are also the only mattress manufacturer in the U.K. to weave our own naturally FR chemical-free mattress fabric on-site, meaning that we control the quality and drastically reduce transport miles. We are Cradle2Cradle certified for our pocket cloth, we have signed up to the UN Global Compact, and we have recently moved from previously paying to offset carbon use overseas into premium climate initiatives to ensure substantial, long-term changes are taking place across our local region.

What are your greatest obstacles or challenges when it comes to sustainable design?

Through our vertical manufacture principles, we control a lot of the component parts and materials that go into our mattresses. However, for the remaining elements, responsible sourcing and materials provenance is one of the biggest challenges for a number of ingredients that traditionally go into our type of mattresses. To combat this, we set up a responsible sourcing group to track provenance and review ethics. This has led to a number of initiatives, including replacing horsehair for coir and partnering with a luxury cashmere knitwear manufacturer to take their clean waste to repurpose it into luxury mattress fillings.

What sustainable products does your company offer?

All our mattresses and beds are built with sustainability in mind. Our current brand campaign is called ‘Cut from a Different Cloth,’ a statement we are boldly proud of. All our mattresses are glue-, foam- and FR chemical-treatment free; we grow most of the natural fibers that go into our mattresses, as well as being the first bed manufacturer to partner with British Wool on their responsible wool scheme, meaning the sheep farmers we buy from are paid a fair price for their products and they have been assessed for animal welfare. Our pocket springs are fully recyclable at end of life, as is our mattress fabric.

What is your ultimate goal when it comes to sustainability?

A hundred thousand mattresses in the U.K. alone end up in landfills each week. Our aim is to create the truly 100% fully recyclable mattress. As waste becomes more accepted as a raw material, we are also making great strides in mattress circularity, cleaning and repurposing component parts back into the value chain, rather than the landfill. However, to us, sustainability is much more than combating the effects of climate change. A robust ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategy also focuses on the social aspects of sustainability and to this end, we support a number of local charities and community-based projects as well as health, well-being and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives for our colleagues, including enhanced company-funded pension contributions, mental health first aiders and employee well-being days.

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