With its latest collection, ethical furniture label Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is taking on ocean plastic with a chenille fabric made from Seaqual Initiative’s upcycled marine waste.
Sustainability is the throughline for Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, the 33-year-old furniture and decor brand. Its Spring 2022 collection features upholstery made from marine plastic in a collaboration with the Seaqual Initiative aimed at fighting plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
“From the day we started the company, it was our dream to both help care for Mother Earth and help our customers choose comfortable, fine-quality furnishings for their home,” Williams, co-founder and President of Design, said in a statement. “Our Seaqual Initiative fabric collection gives us another opportunity to do that. By customizing their upholstered pieces with these fabrics, our customers are creating beautiful, easy-care furniture, and helping to end plastic pollution.”
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams started in 1989 with a focus on sustainable design. It’s a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, and has continued on with that mission, handcrafting modern heirloom furniture made from responsibly sourced materials. All of its cushions are free from fire-retardant chemicals, and back pillows contain recycled fibers. It uses 80 percent regenerated fibers and ozone-friendly foam and padding made from ten percent soy. Fabrics are derived from natural materials such as cotton and linen.
Its wood frames come from responsible forest management compliant suppliers, and it has reduced VOC emissions on its finishes by nearly 40 percent.
The company says it’s exploring future projects such as solar energy production, which could cover the current electrical demand. It’s also looking into switching to water–based finishes, which would reduce VOC emissions by a further 50 percent.
The new Seaqual fabrics, which come in “ocean-inspired” patterns, include the Performance Textured Chenille, a heavily textured chenille with a water-repellent finish, available in four classic neutral colors; Performance Lattice Chenille, available in four warm neutrals and cool silvery shades, this intricately textured chenille offers a water-repellent finish; and the Performance Chunky Basketweave, a classic basketweave with a pronounced warp-and-weft feel, offered in four shades.
The fabric is made by the Seaqual Initiative from reclaimed and recycled marine plastic fabric yarns that are all OKEO-TEX-certified. The yarn is woven into fabrics in the U.S. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams says the fabrics are easy to care for and work as smart design solutions for homes with children and pets.
“Sustainability is part of every decision we make, and we are committed to designing for a healthier planet,” said Allison O’Connor, President and CEO of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
“We’re pleased to collaborate with Seaqual Initiative, a community of individuals, organizations, and companies working together to help clean our oceans. By joining this robust collective, our stewardship efforts can have a much larger positive impact on the planet than by working as a single company. Every effort to reduce waste is a worthwhile endeavor, and central to the values of our brand. We are thrilled to have created this beautiful, durable, and eco-friendly collection of fabrics with high-quality Seaqual Yarn.”
The Seaqual Initiative
More than 12 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, according to Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Marine plastic threatened marine animals, ocean pH levels, and its ability to sequester carbon.
To date, Seaqual Initiative says it has transformed more than 200 tons of marine litter into its Seaqual Marine Plastic. The organization works with the fishing industry, NGOs, authorities, and local communities, to remove ocean plastic. Its clean-up programs remove litter from beaches, ocean floors and surfaces, as well as rivers and estuaries.
Seaqual Initiative sorts materials by type, with all plastic going to its high-quality yarn production, which is then used by a number of companies in products ranging from swimsuits to sofas.
Last year, Seaqual partnered with Volkswagen’s Spanish car brand Cupra on its Born EV. It created seat covers made from 86 percent Seaqual plastic yarn.
“We have been focusing on ecological materials all around the car, and we spoke with the Seaqual Initiative very early in the Born’s development,” Cupra designer Amanda Gomez said during the Born launch.
“The new CUPRA Born will contribute to the reduction of global CO2 emissions and the fulfillment of European objectives,” the Seaqual Initiative said in a statement. “From now on, thanks to the collaboration with Seaqual Initiative, the brand will also impulse circular economy and the care of the Mediterranean and its surroundings.”