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Eco-friendly Manufacturing

  • Give your kids a green Christmas

    I’m loving the fact that there are so many eco-friendly Christmas options this year. From handmade cards to plastic-free crackers and green gifts, it seems there’s a real focus on enjoying the festive season while looking after our planet. Just Google ‘green Christmas’ and you’ll find lots of eco-friendly ideas and inspiration. 

    It’s definitely a step in the right direction – but my biggest bugbear at this time of year is the sheer volume of Christmas presents people buy for their children. I was astounded to read that the  average kid gets 16 presents.  Sixteen!  In France, where I grew up, it’s the custom for children to receive one main present and maybe a couple of small ones as gifts from Santa Claus – and that’s it. 

    green christmas, eco friendly christmas, sustainable gift, eco friendly gift, green gift Time for a greener Christmas? Unwrap a Tidy Books Box that'll last for years.

    As for the seasonal frenzy of buying 3 for 2 offers – well, it just didn’t happen in France. There was no temptation or pressure to buy stuff I didn’t want or need, so when I moved to England I was shocked to see the amount of stuff people bought. And knowing that so much of it ends up in landfill – 10% of unwanted Christmas presents, according to a 2017 report really upsets me.

    I’ve always been a ‘less is more’ kind of person. It’s the way I shop and it’s what drives Tidy Books. From the very start, I wanted sustainability to be at the heart of the business so all our products are made with sustainable, durable wood and coated with eco-friendly water lacquer. We’re not a mass produced, cheap ’n’ cheerful kind of company and I’m proud of that.

    And yes, it does mean our products cost a little bit more. But that’s the beauty of our children’s book cases and storage solutions – you won’t have to pay out for new ones any time soon because a decade later they’ll still be going strong (and the simple, chic design means they won’t look dated in the home, either!). 

    I love it that customers buy into our ‘less is more’ ethos. They get how meaningful it is to buy their child one main gift – and for that gift to last long enough to be passed down to younger siblings and to stay in their family for years. When it comes to buying Christmas presents for their kids, they’re not looking for 3-for 2 offers or BOGOF deals to stuff into Christmas stockings... then take to the tip when the novelty has worn off. They’re in it for the long haul!

    * Want to order for Christmas? Our bookcase and book box can be ordered up to 13th December.

  • Less is more (and, yes, it might cost a bit more)

    Last night I was sitting reading a book and I realised my sofa was 20 years old. It’s as comfortable as it was when I bought it and still looks great in my lounge. I’ve never had the urge to buy a new one. I just don’t understand the desire to get rid of things before they’re broken or need replacing. I’m all about sustainability and longevity.

    Apparently our throwaway culture goes back to 1930s America when planned obsolescence’ products deliberately designed with a short lifespan – was used as a way to stimulate the economy after the Depression. People were encouraged to buy mass produced, disposable products that they didn’t actually need – and unfortunately, the idea stuck.

    sustainability; sustainable design; sustainable kids furniture; sustainable furniture; tidy books When less is more. Sustainable and timeless kids bookcases. Credit @nyearthur

    It’s the total opposite of what we do at Tidy Books, where everything is made with sustainability in mind. I don’t design to fit into a trend but focus on well made, timeless products that don’t date and can be passed down from sibling to sibling. I want our products to stay in your home – not end up in landfill.

    It surprises me when some people ask why our products are more expensive. When something seems cheaper maybe there’s a hidden cost like cheap factory labour or a cost to the environment such as the use of toxic lacquer. If you buy one thing that you cherish and that lasts, surely that makes more financial sense than buying something cheap and cheerful that soon gets chucked away for more of the same? One of our customers told us she’d had her bookcase for 15 years and it was still going strong. Quality costs less in the long run – and sustainable furniture costs the environment less too.

    I’ve always been quite eco-conscious and I’m not into buying something new just for the sake of getting the latest, trendiest model. I think that might be down to my upbringing – I was brought up in France by my grandparents, who were of a generation that never wasted anything and only bought what they needed. My appreciation of timeless quality was also instilled in me in my former job as a violin maker creating musical instruments that were designed to last for hundreds of years.

    I can’t guarantee that your Tidy Books product will last quite that long but it definitely covers my ethos – to buy one thing well and keep it!

    Do you look out for kids designs that offer sustainability?

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furnitureGeraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

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