Meeting our Certified Companies – Pepe Garden Furniture
19 January 2022 Meeting certified companies
Did you know that the furniture industry is the third-highest user of forest wood?
Using wood is great, but only if it comes from sustainably managed forests. We can all contribute to making the furniture industry more sustainable, and safeguard our forests, by producing, sourcing or buying sustainable wood furniture.
As part of our interview series Meeting our Certified Companies, we hear from a furniture company that takes sustainability to the next level.
Pepe Garden Furniture is a British manufacturer and retailer of wooden garden furniture. Operations Director Rachel Hart shared why sustainability is the way forward for the sector, and why the company chose PEFC to demonstrate its responsible practices.
Can you give us a brief introduction to your company and its position in the market?
Founded in 1988, Pepe Garden Furniture is a British-owned company started in the Cotswolds in England. Since then, we have evolved as designers and retailers of beautiful, top quality wooden garden furniture designed to last years.
In the context of timber/forest-based product sourcing, what is your company’s goal?
100% of the wood used in Pepe Garden Furniture’s products is PEFC certified and sustainably sourced. We aim to support existing forest protection and regeneration systems, as well as working towards being a carbon neutral company.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background? What are your main responsibilities within the company?
I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors and started my career as an outdoor instructor teaching children of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors with activities such as canoeing and climbing. Now, as the Operations Director for Pepe Garden Furniture Limited, I get to work with such fantastic products.
For me and my affinity to the environment, it’s a pleasure knowing that our company is pushing to be as sustainable as possible.
From replanting woodland, using electric company cars and charging points, and reusing and recycling packaging where possible. We at Pepe Garden Furniture would like to think that we are doing our best to help the planet.
How did you hear about PEFC?
Pepe uses Scandinavian Redwood Garden furniture. Wood grown in colder climates tends to be much denser and therefore lasts longer. All our wood is sourced from Finnish suppliers, and they are PEFC certified.
What led you to choose PEFC certification?
Pepe Garden Furniture initially obtained PEFC certification in 2012. PEFC is an umbrella organization, and rather than being a top-down company, PEFC works with stakeholders at a local level to ensure everyone’s priorities are considered.
How has PEFC certification benefited your company and helped achieve your goals?
PEFC has enabled Pepe Garden Furniture to demonstrate responsible practices in terms of sourcing sustainable materials and our commitment to the environment.
The PEFC certification is the driving force behind all the decisions we have put in place to be a socially and environmentally responsible company.
What does it mean for you personally to work for a company that takes its responsibility for forests seriously?
It’s extremely important, now more than ever, for everyone to make more conscious and informed choices about where products come from.
Forests are extremely important not only in combating climate change, but also the protection of biodiversity and social responsibility for those dependent on the forest.
It makes me extremely proud to be part of a company that contributes to protecting the world’s forest.
In your opinion, what role will sustainability and certification play in your sector in the future?
I think not only in the garden furniture sector but in all sectors, consumers are more aware of what impact their choices can have on the environment. Consumers have access to more and more information surrounding the source of products.
PEFC certification is a great way to show Pepe Garden Furniture is a responsible company. We have seen an increase in consumers wanting durable garden furniture. Wooden garden furniture tends to last longer and requires less in terms of the manufacturing process compared with plastic or metal-based products.
Forests are Home is PEFC's awareness campaign to promote the manufacture and sale of sustainably sourced furniture. As part of the campaign, we highlight sustainable furniture brands like Pepe Garden Furniture that prioritize environmental conservation by offering PEFC-certified furniture through case stories and graphics. If you source and sell PEFC certified furniture products, join us today!