Made to Last, and stylish too

Hot on the heels of my recent post - What a load of rubbish - comes another sustainable option, this time for furniture.  It's a company, Made to Last, which sets out to do things differently; not only are its products sustainable, they're also crafted here in Britain.

And what's more the products really do look great, and as the company name suggests, made to last.  Each product has clear guarantees displayed on the site, so you really can judge the true cost and value of a product.

No doubt like me you'll know that often items only last a short time and discover that no one seems to fix anything these days, so often the most economic solution is to buy more.  But that leaves items to get rid of more often, and more for landfill contributing to our throwaway society.

My top picks

1. Sofas by Wesley-Barrell

As you know we've recently been on the hunt for new sofas. We saw many and managed to choose two grey sofas (which arrived last week, more on those another day), but we quickly discovered that it's never just as easy as choosing a new sofa.  There are many shapes and sizes, prices and quality, but I do believe there's a sofa out there for everyone.

We saw many velvet sofas in our quest to replace ours, and we were very nearly tempted, but in truth the velvet sofas we saw weren't quite right.  As soon as I visited the Made to Last site the sofa below, by Oxfordshire-based Wesley-Barrell called out to me, and I wished the email inviting me to collaborate had arrived a few weeks earlier.

ONE OF THE WESLEY-BARRELL SOFAS ON THE MADE TO LAST SITE Photo Credit: Made to Last

ONE OF THE WESLEY-BARRELL SOFAS ON THE MADE TO LAST SITE
Photo Credit: Made to Last

Each sofa is hand-built to order, which means as well as choosing the leg style and colour you can make alterations to the seat depth, so if you've little legs like MOH or I or longer legs then you can purchase a sofa that works for you.  While out sofa shopping we sat on quite a few we liked, but would have liked more if we could have reached the floor.

It struck me that they don't just claim to be eco-friendly but give clear examples of what they do everyday to demonstrate this in a practical way, such as using FSC accredited timber, using natural materials including a polymer fibre made from recycled plastic bottles.  It doesn't sound overly comfortable, but I'm sure it's much better than it sounds.

2. Black iron loaf tins by the Netherton Foundry

CAST IRON LOAF TINS ON THE MADE TO LAST SITE Photo Credit: Made to Last

CAST IRON LOAF TINS ON THE MADE TO LAST SITE
Photo Credit: Made to Last

Yes, quite a change from my first item I know, but one that could make it into my bakeware cupboard.  Last year we tinkered with cooking bread in our pizza oven without a huge amount of success as the oven was still too hot.  However I'm a try-er so we're not giving up just yet.

These iron loaf tins are made of durable 99.1% pure iron with a sturdy brass rivet and are suitable for high temperatures and all ovens, including wood fired.  So with these I'd really have no excuse would I?

They're guaranteed for two years and it's recommended that you re-season it with a coating of flax oil, but full instructions are included.

If we didn't already have a long handled pizza peel, I might be tempted by one to match.  If loaf tins and pizza peels aren't for you, there's plenty more Netherton Foundry items to tempt you.  

3. Royal Sussex traditional garden trugs

Despite my modern tendencies, I also like some traditional items and the Royal Sussex trugs are very much in that category.  I've seen them at shows and spoken to the craftsmen that make them, completely by hand.  It's an item that can't be rushed and one that comes in several sizes, and even though we no longer have the allotment, actually especially now we don't have the plot I can see one in the garden to save me juggling the produce I pick in the months to come as I had back towards the house.  Although I'll admit that can be quite entertaining...

ROYAL SUSSEX TRADITIONAL GARDEN TRUG Photo Credit: Made to Last

ROYAL SUSSEX TRADITIONAL GARDEN TRUG
Photo Credit: Made to Last

My top three is quite eclectic, but I'm sure you're not surprised by that by now - what would you choose?

* This is a collaborative post but all views are my own.

What a load of rubbish

Actually this post is the exact opposite of its title, it demonstrates how rubbish can be repurposed and with some inventiveness can be incorporated into our gardens, without looking like a pile of old rubbish in the corner.  And if you' haven't already worked it out from the pictures this post is another from Gardeners' World Live, and another of the Beautiful Borders. 

Alliums in flower and a hint of purple

You'll quickly spot the purple theme too.

I’m a fan of the bare lampshade which would be great with plants grown through it.  It's a great way to add some height to a garden in a funky and unusual way.  I think I'll have a hard time of it persuading MOH we should do this though.

A bike and a lampshade make an appearance in this beautiful border

I'm also not sure he'd be too impressed if I gave his bike this treatment.  It is a “proper” bike though isn’t it, complete with basket.

herbs in porcelain

Herbs are great for growing in containers and both of these photos demonstrate that, I particularly like the thyme tea below.

A purple cup of herb tea

And of course for a cup of tea you need a kettle.

Put the kettle on

The purple and rubbish theme continued throughout this border with the red-purple lettuce in a vanity case.

A case for the purple lettuce

I was impressed with the alliums, they're a favourite but mine anyway and mine have long finished, so it felt like a treat to see more in full bloom this year.

the vibrancy of an allium against the dark leaves of the heuchera

The purple gnome made me laugh - and in case you're wondering I don't want one in my garden - but his plant pot, complete with seedling, is fun (I still don't want one).

A purple knitted gnome, of course

Most of the borders in this part of the show were densely populated and that's something I admire and aspire to, I'm sure it's a way of suffocating the weeds too, so an added bonus!

SAGE REFLECTING IN THE GLOSSY BLACK CONTAINER

SAGE REFLECTING IN THE GLOSSY BLACK CONTAINER

A KNITTED POT WARMER, OF COURSE

A KNITTED POT WARMER, OF COURSE

lettuce in a fish tank, what else

The lettuce, another of my favourites - I really should grow some of this - in the fish tank seemed a good idea, although I'm sure mine would have silvery trails of snails and slugs all over it.

What do you think, rubbish or not?

Recycled plastic rugs, that don't look like recycled plastic rugs

I suspect that when you read that you thought of stiff, shiny woven rugs didn't you? I know that my mind had some trouble computing when I read the sign and saw the attractive looking - and soft to the touch - rugs in the box from Eco Braids, which I spotted on that trip to the House & Garden store at Snape Maltings.  But they are the recycled rugs in question and I tested them they're not stiff or shiny at all. In fact I don't think you'd know about their green credentials unless you knew, if you know what I mean.

100% recycled plastic rugs in the Homes & Gardens shop at Snape Malting Suffolk

They can be used inside or out and are machine washable - just as the sign says.  The colourways have some cracking names too: paprika, putty, sapphire, wasabi and pewter. I'm very tempted for when I replace the mat we have by our back door.

IMG_3603.jpg

What do you think?

A Green and Rosie Life