Customer Spotlight On: Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens

  • 6th January 2021

Who are Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens and what do you do?

We create beautiful bespoke kitchens with an emphasis on sustainability. Using materials that are recycled, reclaimed or sustainably sourced, we produce thoughtfully-designed high quality kitchens, which are built to last for decades. Our clients love the way that their kitchen is designed especially for them, and the way they use their kitchen.

Many of our kitchens have a story to tell, whether it is the cabinet door fronts that were originally railway wagons, open shelving that had a previous life as a school lab bench (complete with graffiti) or worktops made from recycled glass bottle shards set in a solid resin. All our standard kitchen cabinets are made from a special eco board, produced from 100% recycled timber.

Oh, and despite our name, we also design and fit bathrooms, bedrooms and fitted furniture as well as kitchens. We’ve grown recently and now work much further than just Sheffield and the surrounding area - we’re creating living spaces across the north of England, and have recently completed projects in Manchester, Leeds, Derby and Birmingham.

What makes you so sustainable?

There are a number of different elements that make us sustainable. Our approach to sustainability can be split up into three strands:

Firstly, our materials. We source our materials sustainably and use materials with a high-recycled content where we can. This way, we can be confident we are using ethically sourced materials. Ethical supply chains and championing local businesses are particularly important to us as well, which is what drew us to BIDBI. We love the fact that your values align closely with ours.

Secondly, longevity. Our kitchens are all carefully designed, consisting of high-quality materials and are designed to last. We create durable kitchens, designed to meet our clients needs for many years, and support this with our strong aftercare service. A long-lasting kitchen is a sustainable one. 

And finally, our company culture. The business was founded upon strong values and we are driven by our ethics. We use green electricity, bank with the ethical bank Triodos, and recycle as much as we can. From composting our office coffee grounds, to re-homing our workshop sawdust and wood-chippings, we are mindful of minimising our waste. 

We were really proud to win the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business Award 2018 in the category Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility.

Why did you choose sustainability as a core part of your business?

I founded Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens in 2008. I had been fitting kitchens for a few years and was frustrated with unnecessary waste, poor quality materials and levels of service in the kitchen industry. I knew things could be done differently and decided to lead a quiet revolution in the kitchen industry, forming my own business with a strong moral compass, and Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens was born. 


Founder Rob Cole

What are you planning to use all these branded tea towels for?

 As a small business, every client is important to us. We like to thank our customers for their custom - we really do appreciate it - and send them all a token of our gratitude every Christmas. We wanted to send something that was useful as well as beautiful, to go in the kitchens that we have fitted - so these tea towels that BIDBI have created for us are the perfect choice. They also fit perfectly with our ethos as they are fairtrade, durable, and made from organic cotton.

Why do you think it is important to shop sustainably?

Shopping sustainably is incredibly important. When buying from a sustainable and ethical business, you can be confident that you are purchasing a product that was not made by exploiting others. Businesses that are truly sustainable, rather than just using it as a green-washing strategy, will have thought about every element of their product - supply chain, production, waste, durability, and the long term effects it may have on the environment.

By supporting a truly sustainable and ethical business, you are ensuring that no employees will be exploited, no animals will be harmed (either through testing or habitat destruction), and that you won’t add to the exploitation of the planet e.g. by choosing products that are palm oil free, or avoiding fast fashion brands.

Not only this, but sustainable items are almost always better quality and last longer than those items that are not. It is important to be the change you want to see in a community, and lead the way for future generations. Adopting a sustainable shopping attitude is positive for every person involved, and ensures that we don’t deplete the planet's resources. 

Have you worked on any exciting projects recently?

Yes! In October we featured on Channel 4’s Ugly House to Lovely House with George Clarke where we designed a fantastic sustainable family kitchen as part of a development with CE+CA Studio - a Sheffield-base architectural practice. It was an exciting project to work on and we have had a lot of positive feedback. So many people loved the kitchen design, particularly the timber worktops reclaimed from school lab benches.

Visit Sheffield Sustainable Kitchen's website here.