Anyone concerned about their carbon footprint should (preferably) walk or cycle along to SCP’s Shoreditch shop to check out Gareth Neal’s latest designs, made during an experimental project in a Herefordshire woodland in August.
Along with a table (£979), stools (£350 each) and candlestick holders (£98 each) made from sustainable ash (all pictured), SCP will show data gathered during Neal’s 10-day project relating to his production process (man-powered machinery), diet (no meat, no dairy, only local in-season produce from organic farm shops, plus woodland foraging), travel (cycling from London) and communications (solar-powered smartphone).
The project was inspired by a conversation Neal had with a company that wanted to manufacture one of his designs – a loveseat – in Asia. “I felt it should be made in a really traditional way, at the source of the wood in Britain, in order to retain its character, beauty and mannerism,” he explains. “When I realised that no carbon would be released if it was made this way, I decided to see how far I could reduce my total carbon footprint while making a series of designs. Hopefully, the evidence gathered will show which aspects of the project save the most amount of carbon, which could be useful for other designers and manufacturers.”
The designs are not one-offs – each can be repeated by local coppice worker Paul Moreton, according to demand. “The project is all about localism and sustainability, but, as its title suggests, this is an experiment. The goal of carbon negative may be an unobtainable dream”, says Neal. Still, he is doing his utmost to achieve it.