Sustainability is not only about how we treat the planet, but also about employees, suppliers and producers. It is with building lasting relationships that you can mean more to each other and help each other grow. SUM (Still Usable Materials) is not only an initiative that is about recycling and giving new value to used materials, but also about assigning more value to collaborations. This initiative came about a few years ago when the idea was put into effect to have the aluminum tubes used in our chairs made from recycled aluminum parts.
We entered into this recycling process with a producer from Indonesia with whom we have been working with for over 25 years and who is, among other things, our partner in the production of furniture with plastic wickerwork. In all these years of collaboration, we have gone through many developments together in terms of technology and design. We believe this lasting relationship has fueled the growth of both companies. But having such a partnership also makes it possible to think together about the future and possibilities in the field of sustainability. This already resulted in the recycling of aluminum, and now offers new opportunities.
Plastic and recycling it is currently a "top-of-mind" item, and it is not news that the plastic waste problem in a country like Indonesia is extra large. The step to produce the wickerwork with recycled plastic in the base is, in our opinion, the next logical step in the development of our collection.
With this idea we flew to Indonesia and started looking for a company that collects, sorts and processes plastic and can supply it to our producer as a new raw material. The recycling company we eventually found is a company that is also known by MVO Nederland. This Dutch organization supports companies (like us) in the search for cooperation partners for sustainability and acts as our advisor.
In order to guarantee the quality of our products, it is important that only high-quality recycled plastic is used. This is why we collaborate with a specialized company that can provide the correct flow of this material. The material they ultimately deliver is also known as HDPE. Tests are currently being carried out to determine whether this HDPE material is actually suitable for the production of our furniture, because above all we stand for quality. Fortunately, this looks promising so far, and our own product designers have since worked hard on several matching designs and prototypes. And this is just the beginning. With SUM we have the ambition to (re)discover more and more materials and techniques with which we can pursue our sustainability mission.