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Our approach to sustainability

When we founded TIPTOE in 2015, we embarked on a mission to make sustainable furniture that altogether would be well-designed, well-made and built-to-last.

We believe that the world does not need more furniture. It needs better furniture.

By “sustainable furniture”, we mean furniture that is well-designed in Paris, 100% well-made in Europe and built to last a lifetime.

In order to provide real long-term solutions, we take a holistic approach to sustainability by rethinking the way we design, make and buy furniture

In a nutshell, our furniture is :

  • Beautiful
  • Sustainable
  • Timeless
  • Well-priced

What is the issue with the furniture industry?

In the past few decades, the “fast-furniture” trend has become overwhelmingly mainstream: furniture has become very cheap but also disposable, made of low-quality materials and characterized by a very short lifespan.

As a result: over the 20 million tons of furniture being disposed each year in Europe and in the US, only a small proportion is either recycled or re-used.

Most of these items usually end up in the landfill or are incinerated without being repaired or recycled because these essential steps had not been accounted for as part of their design.

We founded TIPTOE to offer a long-term viable alternative to this issue while addressing the challenges of modern life.

Our solution? A comprehensive approach to sustainability

  • Holistic Design
  • Sustainable materials
  • European manufacturing
  • Low-impact logistics
  • Build to last
  • Product end-of-life

A holistic approach to design

Our approach consists in thinking sustainability as a whole and to account for it at each and every step of our products lifecycle.

With this in mind, we have laid out 5 principles for sustainable design:

  1. Make things simple
  2. Make more with less
  3. Use the right materials
  4. Build to last
  5. Design for disassembly

These 5 principles help us tackle the design of every product with a very strong and coherent direction when it comes to sustainability.

Choosing the right materials

The choice of materials is an essential step in our mission to make sustainable furniture. Choosing the right materials from the very beginning allows us to limit the environmental footprint of our activity while ensuring the longevity and recyclability of our products.

We always use very robust materials that are either already recycled or easy to recycle. When it comes to wood, we make sure it comes from sustainably managed European forests that are PEFC or FSC labeled. Our packaging is made of at least 80% recycled paper.

In the meantime, we make significant R&D efforts to develop and increase the use of upcycled or recycled materials.

European manufacturing

Since the founding of TIPTOE in 2015, we have decided to manufacture all our products with highly-skilled European partners.

As of today, we work with about 20 partners located across Europe based on their specialization : metalwork (France, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania), woodwork (France, Belgium, Croatia, Bulgaria) and recycled plastic (Belgium, France, UK, Holland).

Our family factory founded by Matthieu Bourgeaux’s (TIPTOE founder) grandfather and based in France near Chamonix has been one of our main manufacturing partners since the very beginning.

Accounting for logistics early in our design process

When it comes to reducing the environmental footprint of one company’s activity, mastering logistics is a very crucial step of the value chain. All our products are therefore designed to ship in flatpacks and in the least number of packages. This self-imposed design constraint directly leads to reduced CO2 emissions during storage and shipping.

Moreover, our product assembly and packing processes are carried out in partnership with centers providing care and assistance through employment to adults with disabilities. These centers based in France are called ESATs (“Etablissements et Services d’Aide par le Travail). Their aim is to favor social and professional integration of adults with disabilities through employment by adapting tasks to each person’s disability. In an ESAT, work is adapted to the worker rather than the other way around.

Furniture built to last

Making sustainable furniture must equate to making robust furniture that will last for decades alongside its owners. Making sustainable furniture means making furniture that will remain functional and timeless year after year without ending up in landfills, in the nature or in the oceans.

The quality of our materials and the thoroughness we bring to our designs ensure that our products are particularly long-lasting. In addition to our commitment to make truly robust furniture, each TIPTOE product goes through several meticulous testing phases to guarantee their longevity.

Design for disassembly

Managing the end of a product’s lifecycle is too often neglected during the initial design phase. At TIPTOE, we design every product with disassembly, reparability and recyclability in mind.

This is why all our products are composed of very few materials and very few components that are all interchangeable. As a matter of fact, this ability to disassemble products overtime makes it much easier to repair or recycle them when the time comes.

Indeed, being able to separate the components or the materials of an item (wood from metal for instance) plays a key role in facilitating its recycling.

Creating a positive and virtuous business model

We created TIPTOE in 2015 with the ambition to develop a responsible and virtuous business model. We aim at creating a positive ecosystem that takes into account and respects each level of the value chain.

Our ambition is to succeed at the expense of no one. We strive to create a virtuous model for our customers, our community, our team, our suppliers, the planet and all our partners.

Making TIPTOE a positive business model also requires a great level of transparency about our approach, our materials and about any question you may have.

Do you have any question? Please reach out to hello@tiptoe.fr

Your questions about sustainability at TIPTOE

Where is your furniture made?

All our furniture and products are made in Europe in partnership with highly-skilled manufacturers with unique know-how. Depending on the technique or specialization required by the making of our products, we choose to work with SMEs in regions where the know-how is particularly present.

As of today, we work with European manufacturing partners spread across France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom.

One of our main partners is actually our family factory founded three generations ago by Matthieu Bourgeaux’s (TIPTOE founder) grandfather and based in France near the Alps mountain in Chamonix.

Do you manufacture in France?

Yes, we do.

Since inception in 2015, a significant part of our production has been carried out in France. This mainly takes place at our family factory located near the Alps mountain in Chamonix where almost all the mechanical and precision components of our products (the screws for instance) are being manufactured. This factory was founded three generation ago by TIPTOE founder’s grandfather and has remained a family enterprise since then.

We also work with several partners based in France and specialized in woodworking or upcycled materials such as recycled plastic.

What criteria do you take into account when choosing your materials?

The choice of materials is an essential step in our mission to make sustainable furniture. Choosing the right materials from the very beginning allows us to limit the environmental footprint of our activity while ensuring the longevity and recyclability of our products.

We always use very robust materials that are either already recycled or easy to recycle. When it comes to wood, we make sure it comes from sustainably managed European forests that are PEFC or FSC labeled. Our packaging is made of at least 80% recycled paper.

In the meantime, we make significant R&D efforts to develop and increase the use of upcycled or recycled materials.

By the way, what is sustainable furniture?

According to us, making sustainable furniture means making furniture that is well-designed, well-made and built-to-last. These three aspects imply taking sustainability into account at every step of the product’s lifecycle : from the design phase to the product’s end of life and including logistics and product longevity.

In practical terms, we make furniture that is robust and long-lasting, 100% made in Europe with high-quality and sustainable materials, easy-to-repair if necessary and easy-to-recycle when the times come. In addition, our furniture is designed to have the least impact on the environment during storage and shipping : it is composed of very few components, it ships in flatpack and in the least number of packages.

Last but not least, we are committed to offering beautiful and timeless furniture that you will not get tired of and that you will keep for decades.

Is it truly more complicated to design sustainable furniture?

Taking sustainability into account at every step of the product’s lifecycle is actually a true challenge.

In addition to the constraints mentioned in the previous section (“by the way, what is sustainable furniture?”), designing sustainable furniture requires large investments (in-house designers and engineers, work with engineering advisory firms) combined with longer and sometimes uncertain product development periods.

In addition, it is not always easy to include recycled or upcycled materials in traditional manufacturing processes. Therefore, despite our small size, we have to work with industry players to make things happen and implement new processes while striving to find new partners who develop sustainable and innovative materials.

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Our commitment

  • Well-designed, well-made
    and built-to-last furniture

  • Secure payment
    (visa, mastercard, amex)

  • Quick delivery and easy
    returns all over Europe

  • Any question? Looking for advice?
    Drop us a line at hello@tiptoe.fr :)