DuraOcean® - how one chair started a journey to save our oceans

Company: LifestyleGarden

Picture the scene – it’s 2019 and the judges are about to deliver their verdict on the SOLEX Best New Product award. Several products are vying for the title but only one brand - LifestyleGarden® - was able to walk away with the accolade. Little did anyone know just how this award would help to kickstart its recycled maritime plastic range, DuraOcean®, into the mainstream. Here the team tells us more about the amazing journey DuraOcean® has been on.

DuraOcean® came to market at exactly the right time, when reducing plastics was at the top of both the trade and consumer agenda.  Following the airing of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II programme, interest in environmental issues has increased amongst consumers as well as their expectations of businesses as responsible suppliers.  Organisations and research were also starting to truly highlight the impact plastic waste was having upon the environment, with statistics outlining some terrifying realities such as the annual global production of plastic waste stood at 300 million tonnes, with eight million tonnes ending up in the world’s oceans, polluting the water and killing more than 100,000 marine creatures. We were also being warned that by 2050 there may be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

The result of two years’ extensive research and development and a multi-million-pound investment from LifestyleGarden®’s parent company, ScanCom International, DuraOcean® has resonated with shoppers who are increasingly demanding ethical and sustainable furniture but will not compromise on style or comfort, while demanding a bold, stand-out design. Each chair is made from 3.5kgs of recycled ropes from the maritime industry, and to date the chair has helped to recycle over 204,000kgs (240 tonnes) of ocean plastic, a journey that continues with consumers following along via LifestyleGarden®’s website and social media channels.

The conscious decision to offer sets in different price ranges , also sent a clear message – sustainability should not be unaffordable. These price points ensured that all consumer demographics could purchase DuraOcean® for their homes, gardens and balconies and, in doing so, can help to spread the word to friends and family far and wide.

The DuraOcean® collection has also enabled retailers to fly the flag for sustainable material and products, helping to highlight to their customers their commitment to environmental protection. This has, in turn, paid dividends, by creating an army of loyal customers who keep coming back for more as the strong environmental message resonates long-term. To-date, DuraOcean® is stocked in many  UK garden centres, furniture retailers, as well as in France, Spain, Switzerland, USA and Singapore. LifestyleGarden® has also proudly partnered with Robert Dyas, as exclusive high street retailers of  DuraOcean®.

DuraOcean® has also been entered into a number of prestigious awards, including the Design Week Awards, National Recycling Awards, DIY Week Awards, and new relationships with the likes of the RHS shows, garden designers, BBC Gardeners’ World, The Wildlife Trust, and Keep Britain Tidy to name but a few have been forged.

Since its launch, DuraOcean® has received an incredible response from the media. From garden and home consumer titles, to national newspapers, architect and interior design media, publications focused on sustainability, coastal living, and the natural world, DuraOcean® has featured in thousands of magazines and online blogs, websites and social media post. Together this media coverage has reached in excess of 465 million people, or 465 million possible DuraOcean® customers and advocates.

In addition to the media support, DuraOcean® has been strongly supported by the incredible educational and global garden, the Eden Project. This exclusive partnership saw the DuraOcean® take centre stage within Eden’s Mediterranean biome, highlighting the horrific extent of plastic waste that washes-up on beaches every year, as well as the story behind its journey from polluting sea plastic to stylish garden furniture. This feature helped to put the DuraOcean® in front of thousands of potential customers, revving up consumer engagement with the product offering.

The CEO of Eden Project International, David Harland, 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 said: “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 are 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.”

And long-term they do think. The original dark green DuraOcean® has just been the start of the journey. 2020 saw the material innovation introduced into LifestyleGarden®’s all-new Panama collection. This low maintenance, aluminum range which enjoys expansive configurations and chair designs, boasts a special DuraOcean® high-backed, stackable chair in stylish and contemporary black, whilst a new mint green DuraOcean® is set for launch ahead of the 2022 season. The ability to incorporate the unique material innovation into different ranges was always the lasting aim, and the latest developments have taken this one step further.

Social Plastic® is an exciting next step in the wider journey LifestyleGarden ® is undertaking.  Social Plastic® refers to ethically recovered plastic that helps fight ocean pollution by improving the lives of those who collect it. Working in partnership with the Plastic Bank organisation, collectors in Plastic Bank’s ecosystems receive a premium for the materials they collect, which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, school tuition, internet access, health insurance, and cooking fuel. The collected plastic waste is washed, flaked, and goes through a recycling process, where they are then pelletised and integrated into products and packaging as part of a closed-loop supply chain. It is these pellets that LifestyleGarden® will now use exclusively for its Nassau Social Plastic® Collection – a stunning collection of rainbow-coloured chairs.

With this incredible new partnership, the future certainly looks bright for DuraOcean® and LifestyleGarden®’s mission to make all its outdoor furniture from sustainable material; material designed to protect the world around us. There is no doubt that the efforts the team is undertaking will continue to deliver results both regarding sales and changing consumers’ minds about premium products made from ocean plastic waste. So why not join the team on the journey – it’s going to be worth it!

 

Find out more

To find out more about LifestyleGarden®’s market-leading ranges, and how they can help drive profits in 2022 please visit www.lifestylegarden.com. You can also learn more about ScanCom and its commitment to a more sustainable future by visiting www.scancom.net

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