New eco-friendly Harpenden business on a quest to raise awareness about furniture air miles

PUBLISHED: 09:38 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:36 17 October 2018

A desk from Handmade in Harpenden. Picture: Supplied by Henry Draine

A desk from Handmade in Harpenden. Picture: Supplied by Henry Draine


Handmade in Harpenden want to change the way people shop for their furniture.

Whether it is from us or others, we have a goal to increase awareness of the cost to the environment of purchasing large items, such as furniture, that has travelled the world to make it to our doorstep.

The distance the materials have travelled, the way materials have been sourced, the sometimes questionable labour practices of some companies and the long distances travelled by sea/air can easily be forgotten when browsing a slick website.

Yes, prices can be more competitive, but how far are we willing to go before we realise it’s too late and irreversible damage is done to the environment?

With online shopping becoming increasingly commonplace for purchasing pretty much everything, it is becoming ever easier to ignore the damage we’re causing.

Statistics couldn’t agree more, with the UK currently experiencing the highest year on year growth in online shopping among EU member states. But should getting tech-savvy result in damaging our environment?

Handmade in Harpenden aim to encourage keeping all stages of material procurement and furniture production local by not only hand making everything in their self-built workshop and knowing all of the local suppliers we work with personally, but highlighting the miles travelled by each of our pieces.

By aiming to produce quality, contemporary furniture that can rival anything bought at leading high street and online retailers, but with no air miles, we feel this truly combines sustainability and 21st century living in a winning formula. We describe this as truly ‘guilt-free furniture’.

All our wood used is sustainably sourced in the UK (either from sustainable local sources or being reclaimed) from suppliers we’ve not only met, but trust.

Moreover, we work out how many miles each of our pieces of handmade furniture has travelled; beginning with the journey the materials travel to our workshop in Harpenden and then as furniture to our customer’s front door.

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