More than anything else, I believe in the relationship between fashion and sustainability. My personal quest on conscious living began designing and producing clothes ethically, and it has expanded to every corner of my everyday life – or I try my best for it to! There’s no reason living as sustainably as possible should mean drifting away from aesthetics, even when it comes to the customisation of our spaces – in fact, it should be quite the contrary. When redecorating my home, I was glad to see that sustainability has permeated the furnishings industry for a while, and the that the trend is still very much growing. When researching about sustainable British furniture brands, one happily kept popping up: Harley & Lola. While mostly focused on retail, they also have their own brand, which offers a comprehensive range of natural candles and diffusers, wood and Capri leather furniture.
Take a look at the Harley & Lola website, you will know pretty instantly that this is a brand with a vision for our planet. On the homepage, centre stage, you’ll find information on their Green Scheme, a programme dedicated to being friendly towards our environment, by keeping their emissions as low as possible. Fully focused on responsible handling of their own carbon emissions as a business, Harley & Lola has a strong will when it comes to lowering their impact. Their environmental scheme consists of two major steps: carbon neutral delivery and free CarbonClix for every lb spent on their store.
While it’s nearly impossible to fully eliminate the negative carbon imprint of shipping (products will always need to be moved around, most often in polluting trucks), this company is truly dedicated to offsetting emissions. The initiative is simple yet effective and when purchasing with Harley & Lola, customers have the option to choose carbon neutral delivery. Then, the company commits to balancing things out by either planting new trees or building green energy plants, whether they’re hydroelectric, solar or wind-based.
Harley & Lola have a partnership with CarbonClix, a London-based company dedicated to the environment in general and specifically carbon emissions. Their key product is the emissions calculator, but also on offer is advice on how to reduce individual imprint. Members of CarbonClix can choose to balance through the many carbon offsetting projects curated by the company. Every pound spent on Harley & Lola means supporting products and practices designed to reduce pollution.
Carbon offsetting stands at the core of the Harley & Lola environmental approach. The practice stems from a realisation that not all pollution emissions can be reduced, so balance becomes the key element. Carbon offsetting compensates for pollution by funding projects that prevent it from reaching our atmosphere. It’s possible to buy offsets in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which ultimately means one less tonne of contamination into the Earth’s atmosphere.
This, in my opinion, is undoubtedly the most innovative practice supported by Harley & Lola. There’s also an active search to sponsor projects that prevent further pollution from being released into the atmosphere. It’s always a joy to find brands who are committed to leaving the industrial machine and finding a path which ensure better lives for our children and all beings on our planet.
Harley & Lola’s commitment to lowering their carbon emissions is commendable enough, but they also follow other sustainable practices including selling ethically produced items from carefully selected sources. Still, I wouldn’t be talking about them if, besides sustainable, their items weren’t beautiful to boot. The Harley & Lola site is an aesthetic dream, and most of the brands they sell, including their own collection, are UK-based. Some exceptions include Edge Company, a Zimbabwean company now located in India; Indonesia-based NovaSolo, and American brand Pacific Lifestyle.
One thing I love about this brand is that its aesthetic is broad enough to accommodate everyone. They have a myriad of choices of furniture, rugs, wallpapers and décor details that can fit every taste. On the Harley & Lola website, you’ll be able to find every style from classic pieces in sturdy wood to contemporary Scandinavian design across to shabby chic cabinets to give any room a bit of a hippie vibe. The website is very friendly, with multiple sections so shoppers can get very specific when researching. You can find items by Brand, Furniture and Homeware, Style or simply shop by room, depending on the mood or the specific item you need. And, if you’re not quite sure about what you want, they have a great blog full of décor inspiration and trends, plus a shop assistant feature to help answer any questions and guide you through the shop.
Harley & Lola encompass everything I love about conscious brands: they’re aware of their impact, they’re doing something about it, and they have a deep respect for beautiful things. A brand to root for!