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Mad About . . .

Wednesday Thoughts and The Anniversary of My Eco Sofa Design

12th October 2022
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Today’s post started out as rather more of a note to subscribers rather than something the casual passer-by might find useful. You found me defeated for a post, which I think we can all agree does not happen often. Ever. At all. The decorator/joiner starts next week on the bedrooms. My next book – due out next April – is in final edits before going to print next week and amid the lack of storage and the piles of boxes I couldn’t quite find a spare corner of my brain to bring you anything useful. And then I remembered…

Vita designed by Mad about The House and Love Your Home

Vita designed by Mad about The House and Love Your Home

It’s a year since I launched the sustainable sofa I designed in collaboration with Love Your Home and since I’m very proud to have worked on such a product I thought it was an anniversary worth celebrating. In addition, my own two seater version, currently swathed in terracotta velvet, is about to have a new cream linen loose cover added for Spring – to go with the new decor in the new house. The point being that you can change your house but you don’t need to change your whole sofa. Read on for those who aren’t familiar with the idea behind it. 

Vita designed by Mad about The House and Love Your Home

Vita, the name is Italian for life, was designed and made in the UK and her frame, which is guaranteed for life, is, as you would expect, is made from FSC-certified wood. Inside there is recycled chip foam that would otherwise have ended up in landfill, and ‘Cocolok’ coconut fibre which is dipped in natural latex and used instead of petroleum foam to help with the shaping.

The seat structure is made from traditional coil sprung springs, which means the sofa will last longer and won’t collapse after a few years, as many modern sofas do due to feathers and foams not holding their shape long-term. The springs are made from steel which is also recyclable.

Vita designed by Mad about The House and Love Your Home

There is a choice of two covers. A fitted velvet one, made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles woven using solar power energy with with no harmful chemicals. This cover is held in place by Velcro which means it can be easily removed for washing and can also be replaced with a summer cover in recycled cotton made from 80 per cent off-cuts from the fashion industry, which saves hugely on wasted material, water usage and carbon emissions. Like the recycled velvet, this process is chemical-free. (The final 20 per cent of the cotton is acrylic to help with form and durability).

VITA sustainable sofa by loveyourhome x madaboutthehouse Photographed by Emma Croman

So you can have velvet in winter and cotton in summer. Or you can change your covers from dark velvet to light velvet or cotton to cotton. The colour palette ranges from olive green (caper) to red earth (my winter cover) with Amber (a sort of toffee colour) while the cottons are Plaster, Porcelain, Mink and Portobello. This means you can change with the seasons, or as your mood swings and if you decide to redecorate your walls you won’t need to replace your whole sofa. Or, as in my case, change your whole house for a new one.

Vita designed by Mad about The House and Love Your Home

The full collection comprises a three-seater sofa (230cm long and 100cm deep) which you can see in these images. It was a little large for my old sitting room but it was the prototype for the shoot and for the Decorex launch. Then there is an armchair at 95cm wide by 92cm deep.

sustainable armchair by madaboutthehouse and loveyourhome

A UK first, the velvet is fully Global Recycled Standard certified and meets the high OEKO-TEX standard, as it’s 100 per cent free from harmful chemicals. From its sustainable creation in Italy, to the durable, long lasting final product, this Recycled Velvet is the perfect eco-friendly option without compromise. And it’s about time we had sexy and sustainable in the same sentence isn’t it? Together, these fabrics will begin Love Your Home’s ‘Sustainable Edit’, providing the highest quality fabrics in the most sustainable way.

VITA sustainable sofa by loveyourhome x madaboutthehouse Photographed by Emma Croman

A year on I love her just as much as I did when she was launched and I hope you will too.

IN SHORT:

The Frame is FSC-certified with a lifetime guarantee

● The frame uses ‘COCOLOK’ coconut fibres and latex matting ● There is a coil sprung seat, with recyclable steel springs ● Recycled chip foam is used to help shape the sofa  ● No new petrochemicals products are used

The Velvet Fabric

 is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Post consumer PET bottles transformed into polyester thread. ● GRS certified (Global Recycled Standard) ● Made entirely in Italy ● Woven using solar power energy; no carbon and no combustibles ● The process to reclaim the plastic is mechanical, with no chemical process ● High performing; the same level of performance and quality as polyester yarns made from the standard virgin polyester normally on the market ● OEKO-Tex certified; free from chemicals harmful to consumers.

Includes four colours; Caper, Red Earth, Amber & Mulberry. Composition: 100% Recycled polyester. Wash at 30 degrees.

The Cotton Fabric

is 80% recycled cotton from off cuts from the fashion industry ● The production process consumes less water and energy therefore reduces carbon emissions ● The cotton is double brushed – softer handle.

Includes four colours; Plaster, Porcelain, Papyrus & Taupe. Composition: 80% Recycled Cotton, 20% Acrylic. Wash at 30 degrees.

You can find out more here.

sustainable armchair by madaboutthehouse and loveyourhome

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  • Mela 20th October 2022 at 1:11 pm

    Love this. Well done all of you.

  • Allison 12th October 2022 at 9:09 am

    Kate, I love that you did this and I think it looks fantastic, but can you let us know a bit more about what it’s been like to live with for a year? It looks in some of the pictures like the seat cushion has started to settle down and the fabric to loosen a little – that’s not criticism, but I would think a year is a good length of time to “get to know” a sofa and for most to breaks in a bit.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 12th October 2022 at 3:33 pm

      So I don’t think the cover has loosened but I think as a prototype the velcro wasn’t quite far enough under so that has been tweaked. We are also going to add a bolster cushion for the back and a little more seat padding. It hasn’t sagged but I think I could have pulled the cover tighter before I took the shot!

      • Allison 13th October 2022 at 12:44 am

        Thank you!

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