Grown in Britain

Grown in Britain logo

Using homegrown timber, Ercol has partnered with Grown in Britain (GiB).

Ercol has re-launched their iconic Pebble nest of tables, Marino sofa & chair, and coffee tables.  These iconic products are now available in British-certified ash. 

Grown in Britain (GiB) was founded 10 years ago to strengthen the domestic supply chain and reduce import dependence through improved forest practices.

Ercol said, “This is a mission close to their hearts, so they’re delighted to be the first UK furniture maker to work with GiB to make products from homegrown timber in at-scale quantities.”

Through Ercol’s landmark partnership with Grown in Britain (GiB) we’re helping to strengthen our own homegrown timber supply chain, and contributing to a renaissance in sustainable woodland management.

British tree trunk

For decades, there have been concerns in Britain about homegrown timber supplies, particularly hardwoods. In 1944, Ercol’s founder Lucian Ercolani’s first major contract was to make 100,000 Windsor chairs for the Utility Furniture scheme, which had been introduced to cope with wartime shortages and rationing of raw materials. 

Eighty years later, Britain remains the world’s second-largest net importer of timber products after China, with over £8 billion worth of wood products shipped yearly. It’s not that we don’t have woodlands here, of course: forests occupy around 13% of the UK’s land area, and over 14,000 hectares (around 35,000 acres) of new woodlands were added in 2020/21 alone. The problem is that large swathes of these woods are under-managed. As well as being far less productive overall than they used to be, they no longer produce wood of the right quality in sufficient quantities for furniture-making – in fact, over 85% of locally sourced hardwood is burnt as fuel. 

Sawmill sanding

Through their partnership, Ercol are now offering a small range of classic ercol designs manufactured exclusively in British ash. They’ve been carefully chosen based on known timber volumes so they can ensure consistent production and quality. Starting with the Marino chair and sofa, and the Pebble nest and coffee tables: as the supply of homegrown timber increases, they’ll look to expand the range to include more items and styles.

GiB certification mark

Being able to source more of our raw materials from within the UK is an important part of Ercol’s sustainability journey. More broadly, using timber to make a piece of furniture means the carbon dioxide captured in the living tree is ‘locked away’ for its entire lifetime and beyond.

Ercol’s new GiB range is also encouraging investment along the entire supply chain, helping to demonstrate that working with sustainable British timber is both commercially viable and environmentally responsible.

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