The CEO of Eden Project International, David Harland, has given his seal of approval to the 2020 range of Eden Project-branded outdoor furniture from LifestyleGarden® – saying it marks the start of a blossoming relationship between two brands which are heavily focused on ethical business and sustainability.
An exclusive launch event at SOLEX, the leading trade show for the outdoor living sector held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, saw Eden embark on a new partnership with LifestyleGarden® and its parent company Scancom. With both organisations driven by identical goals of promoting environmental responsibility and sustainability, LifestyleGarden®’s new season furniture ranges will be supported by Eden Project branding, while Eden will host a special exhibition featuring LifeStyleGarden®s’ award-winning DuraOcean® chair – the first mass-market outdoor furniture made from recycled ocean plastic waste.
David said: “The story behind DuraOcean® is fabulous. It’s on point and in-vogue in terms of messaging, especially after the work carried out by Sir David Attenborough and Blue Planet. It’s not just about recycling plastic bottles and fishing nets, but developing genuine closed-loop thinking within our economy. People talk a lot about a circular economy, and this is an excellent example of this developing. We need more examples like these.”
The CEO of Eden Project International spoke about the journey which saw the landmark Cornish visitor attraction, which attracts almost 1.1million visitors per year, partner with Scancom, a global manufacturer of sustainable outdoor furniture and a company that has the motto ‘Doing Business the Right Way’ at its core. David added: “We’re incredibly careful about partners we select. What we loved about Scancom is how its ethos broadly fitted with ours. Secondly, Scancom came to us with something that was innovative. At Eden we have always tried to be innovative. Thirdly, examples of beauty is part of the human condition, and ultimately this furniture is beautiful. Scancom ticked all the boxes and we hope to do great things together. This is just the beginning!”
In the run-up to the marriage between the two brands, Eden scrutinised Scancom for criteria including sustainability, human rights and social responsibility. David added: “We liked Scancom’s commitment to doing things right and thinking in the long-term.”
Each DuraOcean® chair from LifestyleGarden® is made from 3.5kg of salvaged ocean plastic waste, including discarded fishing nets and ropes. The DuraOcean®, which won the Best New Product award at SOLEX, is being exhibited on a special replica beach in Eden’s Mediterranean Biome and will be seen by more than a million Eden Project visitors per year. Shockingly, six of the chairs could be made every year from plastic waste washed-up on a similar sized beach.
David added: “This story resonates with Eden visitors. Tags on the chairs say ‘I’m made out of 3.5kg of ocean plastic waste’. I live in Cornwall where there are 365 beaches; that’s one for every day of the year. I’ve seen for myself the enormous effort that goes into cleaning-up the beaches every time the tide comes in. It’s incredibly important to demonstrate that there are uses for these waste plastics. Everyone talks about the need for solutions to enormous global problems that face us. Global is just a series of local actions added together. If this exhibit at Eden inspires visitors to take action in their region, motivated by the story behind a simple, beautifully designed chair, then people will be convinced that there is hope and that solutions are available that will drive change. It’s at the core of what Eden is about.”
Eden Project International has ambitions to build projects on every inhabited continent, but while the bricks and mortar expansions are already making headlines, David said that developing the partnership with Scancom will be a key element of Eden’s growth. He summed-up: “Scancom is a global company. Eden is becoming a global company. We have sites in China, Australia and America. We want to put flags in the ground in those countries and show there’s a different way for humans to act with regard to the planet.
“With Scancom and other partners, we are forming a group that wants to work together to do good. We don’t mind them making a profit, but we need to challenge all those things that we’ve held dear over the last decade and act in different ways. Looking forward, I hope that we’re forming meaningful long-term partnerships with organisations that share a similar view of how the world should be. We need people to see these stories of hope, and believe that we’re are able to bring change.”