How to plan for sustainability in hospitality design

sustainability in hospitality design

When it comes to interiors, sustainability in hospitality design is a fantastic way to kick off an eco-conscious feel from the moment customers walk in the door.

Why should businesses focus on sustainability in hospitality design?

Consumers are making more eco-conscious decisions when it comes to the businesses that they spend money with. Hospitality design is one of the areas that businesses can make environmentally friendly decisions, repurposing or reusing furniture to create attractive and functional spaces. By considering sustainability in hospitality design, it is possible to create a space that has a story, sharing the sourcing journey of furniture with customers.

Benefits of sustainability in hospitality design

Sustainability in hospitality design can be considered when venues are initially designed, by purchasing long-lasting, eco-friendly furniture in the first place, or by reusing or repairing existing furniture that could work in the space.

Benefits of sustainability in hospitality design include:

  • Stand-out and one-of-a-kind interior designs
  • Functionality
  • Stories that build brand loyalty
  • Reduced cost to buy, or lower lifetime cost for durable furniture

Meet Morgan Furniture

Morgan Furniture is a wholly British, design-orientated business, making seating and tables while remaining conscious of sustainability, continuously looking to reduce waste and produce products with longevity.

Throughout Clerkenwell Design Week, they hosted an immersive exhibition on the topic of waste reduction and product quality, titled ‘Renew’. This allowed Morgan to showcase their sustainable approach to manufacturing, including reupholstering dining chairs and giving insight into a live project with AELTC, Wimbledon, to extend the life of their chairs.

Modern Hospitality had the pleasure of speaking with Morgan Furniture about sustainability in hospitality design. Here’s what they had to say:

1. How are consumers’ priorities changing towards making more ethical purchase decisions?

Client interest in sustainability is increasing rapidly, directly driven by the rise of eco-consumerism. The hospitality companies that we supply furniture to are looking for brands that share their beliefs on the subject, and have the same common sustainable objectives.

This improving interest in environmentally-conscious buying decisions means price is often a lesser consideration. At Morgan, we’ve seen our clients take a far more holistic view of the brand they are buying from and collaborating with, ensuring they fit their ethos.

In this post-pandemic environment, British-made products have rocketed in popularity, almost overnight. Morgan is 100% British made and it’s been satisfying to help clients realise the ethical and sustainable benefits of working with true UK suppliers and manufacturers. We provide them with shorter lead times, greater flexibility and they have peace of mind that our staff are fully cared for and looked after here in the UK. 

Sustainabiluty in hospitality design

2. How important is it for hospitality businesses to consider sustainability when choosing furniture?

Now, talk of sustainability is mounting globally, and there is undeniable pressure on businesses to make more eco-conscious decisions at every opportunity to reduce their impact on the planet. In terms of furniture design, this more urgent need to create real and measurable change has developed a focus on the reuse and recycling of existing furniture items. 

We believe sustainability needs to be at the very heart of decision-making for hospitality businesses. Gone are the days of entry-level solutions. Now companies are looking to invest in furniture items that are well-made, classic, and robust, built to withstand the test of time. While this may mean a greater initial investment, over time this will balance out, leaving them better off. There are environmental benefits too, as this reduces the amount of furniture manufactured and purchased, and resulting furniture waste. 

Now we are also seeing a fair amount of repurposing and renewing of furniture items. It used to be more a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’. But now clients are more invested in appreciating the old and making it new. This means reupholstering and refinishing pieces, and reusing them. At last month’s Clerkenwell Design Week, we hosted an immersive exhibition on this topic, titled ‘Renew’. Visitors followed the journey of four Pastille dining chairs through reupholstery, showcasing our sustainable approach to manufacturing, and gaining insight into a live project with AELTC, Wimbledon. We were able to extend the life of the chairs, ready for many more Championships to come.

3. Tell us more about Morgan’s sustainable approach to manufacturing.

At Morgan we have always been conscious of sustainability, continuously looking to reduce waste and produce products with longevity. We are a British manufacturer in the truest sense. We start with trees, and only work with materials we absolutely need, to produce beautifully crafted furniture.

We follow the key LEAN principle, reacting to the pull of customer demand only, meaning every piece of furniture is made to order. In recent times, forecasting has been near impossible. Manufacturers with overseas supply chains find it too costly to offer less than a 6-week lead-time which would require holding lots of stock, consuming warehousing resources, and requiring fuel to deliver. Even when they have the stock over here, they have to hope that their forecast is correct. Our UK-based supply chain was built up over decades, and is the key to our manufacturing agility. 

4. Which factors should a business look for when buying more ethical furniture? (Upcycling, restoration, materials, quality etc.)

Sustainability has become such a buzzword that anyone can use. Yet, to be truly sustainable, you need a considered approach to materials sourcing, usage, and waste. Processing time and energy consumption in making the products are also key, and of course lifecycle analysis and trends, what are the options for reusing, recycling, or rejuvenating the items when they reach end of life.

5. What’s next for Morgan and how can our readers stay up to date? 

Our next event will be at LDF, with a new collaborative collection being launched. In the meantime, our Clerkenwell showroom is open with our latest collections and collaborations on display, and you can follow us on Instagram for live updates.

Click here to view the Morgan Furiture website.