Background & vision
Norrgavel has grown out of a desire for contemporary furniture that is in harmony with nature in all aspects. Since Norrgavel was founded in 1993, we have worked with a consistent recycling approach. The environment and ecology are an integral part of our tripartite values.
The purpose of our environmental policy is to describe in more detail how the values approach is reflected in material selection, manufacturing, logistics, care advice, design and marketing.
Circular thinking is an unshakeable principle and the very foundation of the way we make furniture. Because we are guided by the idea that everything should one day be returned to nature, all our furniture is made from natural materials. This approach means that we almost never end up in discussions about ecological maximum levels and limits, but instead can work freely with the genuinely natural out of sheer pleasure.
Norrgavel was the first in Sweden to receive the Nordic Ecolabel for home furniture and in 1999 was awarded the Furniture Industry's Environmental Award in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund, WWF.
We are constantly working to improve and our goal is to maintain our strong position as the leading company in consistent recycling. Sustainability at all levels is our guiding principle. By Nature. With Nature.
Sustainability at all stages
While we are constantly focused on sustainability, we are of course aware that our operations also have an impact on the environment. We strive to minimise our negative environmental impact through responsible business practices. We work hard and tirelessly to ensure a business that is imbued with sustainability and honesty at all levels.
Norrgavel works almost exclusively with renewable materials that are part of nature's continuous cycle and that can be recreated again and again while maintaining their quality. In terms of circularity, our footprint will be smaller if we stick strictly to renewable raw materials. But the experience itself is also an important aspect of our focus on natural materials. The pure physical feeling. Natural materials often stimulate our senses in a strong way and they are easy to maintain and usually age gracefully. To facilitate renovation, completion and destruction, we strive to limit the number of different materials in each piece of furniture. In combinations of materials, we strive to keep them separate from each other.
Of course, we demand that no endangered plants and animals are used in our production. Natural materials that are harmful to humans are avoided, of course, and natural materials that have an extremely long shelf life, such as natural stone, are used very sparingly.
Wood and coatings
We use mainly wood in our furniture, sourced as much as possible from domestic sources. Birch, oak, beech and pine, among others. We mainly stick to solid wood because we are making practical furniture that needs to be able to withstand use and wear. In some cases, we choose to layer adhesive constructions - partly for aesthetic reasons, but mainly for strength reasons.
In pursuit of authenticity and honesty, we also want our materials to truly be what they appear to be. On some furniture we leave the wood surface completely untreated, otherwise we advocate open finishes such as oil, soap and egg oil tempera that do not clog the pores. It is a way of maintaining the hygroscopic properties of wood, its ability to absorb and release water. We use tempera for aesthetic reasons and because we believe it is the most ecological paint option - it contains eggs, linseed oil, water and natural pigments.
On selected furniture, we have opened up the possibility of choosing lacquer as a finish. This is to broaden the choice and thus achieve a more modernist expression. We use a Nordic Swan Ecolabelled, water-based lacquer that is both environmentally friendly and highly durable. Swan-labelled paints must not contain high levels of solvents hazardous to health and the environment, which means that only water-based paints can be Swan-labelled.
Upholstery, textile and leather
For sustainability reasons, we started making most of our sofas and armchairs with removable loose covers early on. If you get tired of the upholstery, or if it wears out, you can easily change the upholstery. In this way, the life of the furniture is significantly extended.
For stuffing material we use everything from horsehair and shredded palm leaves to natural rubber and seabird feathers. Our textiles are mainly linen and wool, sometimes with mixtures of, for example, silk and viscose (cellulose fibre). In order to achieve better wear resistance and thus longer durability, we accept a smaller admixture of, for example, polyamide.
We are constantly working to find better and more sustainable materials and use external certification to ensure quality (such as ECO-certified natural latex, Oeko-tex cotton, FSC-certified wood). Our skins are mostly vegetable tanned and always chrome-free.
Care and longevity
In Norrgavel's marketing and in meetings with our customers, we point out the importance of seeing the purchase as a long-term investment and of caring for the furniture so that its lifespan is further increased. Therefore, we use as few different materials as possible and if we use several in the same piece of furniture, we make sure they are well separated from each other. This makes day-to-day maintenance easier, and makes our furniture easy to repair if necessary and to dispose of at the end of its life.
We encourage our customers to take care of their Norrgavel furniture in accordance with the care instructions to which we refer. In this way, customers help the furniture last longer and become part of our joint sustainability efforts.
Manufacturing and logistics
Our furniture is manufactured in the EU and assembled and finished mostly in our own production facilities in Lammhult, Sweden. It is a conscious choice to locate production as close as possible - both to keep the need for transport down but also to have full visibility of the production process. Environmental legislation is strict in all EU countries, which favours environmentally friendly production.
The value of forests and forest land for biological production must be protected while preserving biodiversity. By choosing FSC-labelled wood for our furniture, we are helping to promote sustainably managed forests. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) scheme is market-driven and driven by demand from environmentally and ethically conscious companies and customers.
Norrgavel works to streamline transport and maximise fill rates in all parts of the logistics chain without compromising our customers' delivery requirements. We aim to minimise our environmental impact together with our transport suppliers.
Design - form, function & quality
Norrgavel furniture is meant to be lived with for a long time. It is not always enough that they are physically clean. They should withstand the wear and tear of time and the eye. In an effort to rise above short-lived trends, we strive for a form that doesn't make much of a fuss. Timelessly beautiful design. At the same time, there is often an opposite desire for change and renewal. Norrgavel has always tried to manage both sides. The furniture itself should last a long time, perhaps generations, but it may need to be repainted or reupholstered after a decade or two. In this respect, we are talking about updating and playing with trends.
Another aspect is important from an ecological point of view, and that is function. In our time, technology and social patterns are changing much faster than in previous generations. This places new demands on the furniture. If they are to be used over a long period of time, they must be generic in their design so that they can fulfil different functions over their lifetime.
Furniture constructions are often displayed openly - both as a kind of decoration and to make the furniture clearly understandable. To achieve high and long-lasting strength, we usually use proven designs and compositions. Our ambition is to make optimal use of the latest technology in furniture production. At the same time, the customer's wide choice and the craftsmanship of the furniture mean that many steps will continue to be done manually.
At Norrgavel we want to create relationships with our customers. We don't encourage passive consumption, but try to make it easier for the customer to be present in the buying situation and in relation to the things they choose to surround themselves with. Simply to consume less, but to indulge in higher quality instead. Norrgavel strives to be an attractive counterpoint to the environmentally damaging wear-and-tear trend. Our focus is on sustainable craftsmanship. The environment and ecology are an integral part of our tripartite values.
Environmental work is a continuous process with no end in sight - that's why we are constantly setting new goals and guidelines. Thanks to our sustainable tradition and our committed employees, we have a well-structured environmental work at Norrgavel.
Sweden has clear environmental targets set by Parliament. The aim is "To hand over to the next generation a society where the major environmental problems are solved, without causing increased environmental and health problems beyond Sweden's borders." The following paragraphs summarise how Norrgavel contributes to meeting these environmental objectives:
- Norrgavel complies as a minimum with the statutory chemical requirements in our products, but in most cases we set much tougher requirements for our products than what the law requires. We will continue to offer our customers products with a low impact on climate and the environment. Norrgavel will constantly strive to far exceed current environmental legislation for our operations.
- Norrgavel works to reduce energy consumption in all our buildings, reviews our transport choices and constantly tries to optimise them. Our suppliers must comply with legal requirements on environmental considerations.
- Norrgavel actively works with sorting and recycling - which helps to reduce carbon emissions. By offering our customers sustainable products in both senses of the word, we reduce our long-term climate impact.
- Although wood is an inherently natural raw material, we strive to minimise its environmental impact by setting requirements for manufacturers and suppliers. This is to ensure that the products comply with current environmental standards and are sourced from environmentally friendly and responsible forestry at the point of origin. We do this out of respect for what nature has given us. We also work towards minimising material waste at all stages.
- Norrgavel has an internal environmental policy as inspiration and motivation to keep sustainability high on the agenda. For all new employees at Norrgavel, a review of our environmental policy is included and the idea is of course to encourage all staff to follow the policy.
We achieve success by integrating environmental issues into our daily operations, our stores and our investment and development work. With everyone's involvement, awareness and competence, high goals and continuous improvements in environmental work are ensured.