Here at String Furniture, we have always been committed to continuing the legacy of Nisse and Kajsa Strinning with a responsible and conscious mindset. Producing a range of furniture including the String® System, a timeless and modular feat of design, we understand the values of longevity and quality. However, in a world where we need to take full accountability for our impact, we understand it goes further than that. And that is why we want to share our commitment to you. A commitment to change, a commitment to improve and a commitment to continually learn and adapt in ensuring we contribute to a circular economy and a positive future for both people and planet. We invite you to join us on this journey and we will be sharing updates along the way. Together, we can create a brighter future.
Remaining accountable and reducing our footprint year on year is something we are actively working towards. With 40 direct suppliers of furniture and parts, 35 of these are based in Sweden and five are based in China. 98% of our total volume of product is purchased from Swedish suppliers. We have had a relationship with most of our suppliers for more than a decade and work closely with them in ensuring standards are attained.
This year, we developed String Furniture guidelines to conduct Due Diligence across our supply chain according to the OECD due diligence guidance for responsible business conduct. Making a detailed social and environmental risk screening, based on the country of production, the product type and production type for all parts of our supply chain, we mapped our assessments to identify potential areas for improvement. Based on our findings we have defined focused initiatives with suppliers to ensure these gaps are minimised and eliminated.
Building these close relationships with our suppliers and partners is key in refining our offering even further going forward. We are committed to change and assessing where we are now is the first step in understanding where we need to direct our energies next.
And, through sharing this journey with our audience, we want to provide you with the transparency you deserve in knowing how our products are made and our obligation to a positive future for all.
To actively contribute to the creation of a circular economy and an equal society, without any compromise on the safety, quality, and aesthetic of our products.
We will continue to create furniture that will last generations and remains timeless across any design style. With our multifunctional approach, String® furniture never needs to be recycled as it can be repurposed, rebuilt, repaired, and reused. While the circularity of the system speaks for itself, we are committed to ensuring the footprint behind the production methods and logistics we use is reduced.
A Current Overview
We work with third-party institutes to test our furniture according to established standards (EN).
69% of our suppliers have ISO 14001 certification for environmental management and are working with water and efficiency measures. We are looking to work with our suppliers to ensure improvements are implemented to enhance these statistics as well as the implementation of renewable energy and an increased use of recycled materials and low impact chemicals.
89% of our suppliers have signed our Supplier Code of Conduct and we are prioritising social audits with high-risk suppliers (currently just 2% of our purchasing volume comes from suppliers deemed as high risk).
Our priority is to start a systematic collection of an updated set of sustainability measures from each supplier we work with to ensure we can reduce our CO2 emissions going forward with a targeted and measured approach. Currently, we measure our CO2 footprint according to the GHG-emission protocol with our own operations running at a rate of 27 tCO2 per annum (Equivalent to a year’s emissions from six passenger cars). We are working with an external partner, Normative, to fully understand our carbon footprint.
In 2021 80% of our electricity used within the company directly came from renewable energy, with this increasing to 100% in 2022.
97% of our products are made from wood and steel, with steel being our core material. We are working with our suppliers to select the lowest impact solutions for our products and processes. While most of our suppliers are already working systematically to reduce their energy use and emissions, we will be documenting this more closely to ensure accountability and transparency is upheld.
- 100% of our steel wires are made from recycled steel. Steel can also be recycled infinitely without affecting its quality.
- Steel is energy-intensive to produce but the energy needed for this has decreased by up to 60% in the last 50 years. We are constantly working with our suppliers to reduce this even further.
- By-products from the process, such as slag, dust, and gases, can be used for cement, iron, and electricity, helping to minimise waste and preserve raw materials. One of the biggest challenges the steel industry faces is to produce green steel – a virgin or recycled steel that is produced with renewable energy.
- Made in Sweden, our steel panels use material sourced from Norway from a manufacturer which uses 98% renewable electricity in its production and has committed to reducing its total emissions by 50% by 2030.
- 100% of our wood is aligned to the EU Timber Regulation with 68% of our wood being FSC Certified (Sourced from sustainably managed forests with good social conditions).
- The waste from our shelf production is shredded and used as energy, covering most of the energy supply at our Swedish wood manufacturing plant.
- 100% of our lacquer used on wooden surfaces is water-based and we work to the strict legislations of the European chemical regulation (REACH).
- Our powder-coated surfaces use a solvent-free technique with no VOCs.
- Care and maintenance instructions are provided to customers to ensure the lifespan of each product is sustained.
Design and Manufacturing
We design and manufacture our products centred around the values and principles of durability and circularity and with the second life in mind. We seek to minimise waste through optimising component sizes, as well as offering the client a solution which can be repurposed, reused, and reconfigured infinitely. A String® System and the String Furniture range moves with you and transcends fast fashions and trends. Each of our products are designed to be disassembled using household tools, making it convenient for users to reconfigure their system if needed. These benefits are thanks to the mindful design of the system itself.
We are committed to upholding human rights, good labour conditions and strict health and safety procedures across our supply chain. We assess risks and monitor the performance of each supplier ensuring full transparency is attained.
To control and measure this we continue to produce and source most of our products and materials locally, maintaining long-standing and trusted relationships. We conduct systematic Due Diligence as well as working with each supplier on necessary improvements.
Packaging and Logistics
Each product is flat packed to minimise the logistical footprint and amount of packaging used. We also offer a spare parts service where clients can request extra parts to maintain the longevity of the product. While we don’t currently offer a take-back scheme when a client wants to change their product, there is a strong second-hand market for our products with the integrity maintained and product values upheld – testament to the quality in which we design and manufacture.
In 2021 our packaging was made up of paper (7.29%), cardboard (91.85%) and plastic (0.86%). In new packaging we don’t include any plastic and for existing packaging solutions we have projects in place to phase out plastic completely.
Within our own office and warehouse space we implemented 100% fossil free electricity in 2021. We sort internal waste according to material which is then recycled. Waste from the warehouse is also sorted and collected and recycled according to material.
For inbound transport we currently use road with deliveries from outside of Sweden coming in via sea or rail depending on the distance covered.
A Future Focused Plan
Our journey so far has been understanding where we are right now with a view to reach new goals over the coming years. We will be focusing on expanding our certification range which will result in action taking place across all areas of the company. Below we have outlined some specific actions which are set to take place across the next year.
- To increase our use of FSC timber taking it from 68% to 100%.
- To explore opportunities with suppliers in improving the sustainability and recyclability of our wooden boards.
- To evaluate and implement different certification schemes for our products.
- To improve customer communication around our ESG goals and targets.
- With the help of Normative, to gain further clarity on our C02 emissions.
- To create an overview of our supplier’s renewable energy use.
- To estimate the C02 footprint for a selected number of products.
- To distribute our supplier ESG KPIs for all Tier 1 suppliers and selected Tier 2 suppliers.
We understand this is a journey which will continue to evolve and adapt as we move forward, and we are fully committed to improving our offering year-on-year to ensure we play a role within a future circular economy.