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Plastic Not So Fantastic!

Making the sustainable choice is one of our most important considerations when designing. It is not enough to create beautiful interiors and products that look wonderful, they must also have minimal impact on the environment.

Always pushing the boundaries, Firmdale Hotels is an award winning industry leader committed to minimising our impact on the environment. Our ten year plan is to reduce energy consumption by 25% and we monitor figures monthly to ensure we are on track.

With the global pandemic still in full swing, it concerns us that the good work being done to reduce plastic waste is being put on the back burner with the copious amounts of plastic bags, gloves and sanitiser bottles we are using worldwide. It is the small positive things that add up to make a difference. Here are some of our ideas and designs that have this in mind.

Recycled PET plastic bottle pendant lamps in The Whitby Bar

Patchwork Toys

Our passion for fabric is no secret. We can’t stand wasting offcuts or leftover fabrics so we re-use these to create a collection of colourful patchwork toys. Handmade in the UK and each entirely unique, you can find your own patchwork toy at Shop Kit Kemp.


RikRak is my collection of scents including bath products and candles that capture the essence of an English garden in full summer bloom, a herb garden after the rain and a bitter sweet spiced citrus. The containers are wrapped in our own fabric designs, but most importantly they are made from the waste product of sugarcane, eliminating the use of plastic. Sugarcane captures CO2 from the atmosphere during its production and it is also recyclable.


All of our disposable takeaway cups, cutlery, bags and straws are made from plants. We use Vegware, which is a plant-based, compostable and lower carbon material. This material biodegrades in under 12 weeks. Not bad in comparison to the 1000 years it takes for plastic to decompose.

Busy Bees

If you head to the rooftop of Ham Yard Hotel, you’ll find our kitchen garden tucked behind a picket fence and raised on railway sleepers. One way to reduce our carbon footprint is to buy fresh local produce. We use the produce from the Ham Yard kitchen garden to serve exciting seasonal dishes in the restaurant as much as possible.

We mustn’t forget our two bee hives. Bees thrive in the city due to the higher temperature and more varied food supply. This means more honey, and we make our own which we love to use in our cocktail menu.

Low Impact Luxuries

Take a look in the wardrobes at any of our hotels and you’ll find small details designed to make your stay more comfortable. Our laundry bag not only features my cheerful ‘Ozone’ fabric for Christopher Farr Cloth, but it is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.

Your comfy slippers will come in a biodegradable bag and the handy sewing kit is made from straw with a useful bag you can keep for your handbag. Our clothes hangers are made from reclaimed wood and even our toothbrush kits are made of bamboo. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

You can also buy your own bag for life, made from 100% cotton in my ‘Lost & Found’ and ‘Peace & Love’ fabrics. I have to say, this is the handiest bag, from a trip to the shops or a day at the beach.

For those of you would like to find out in more detail, here is a complete list of ways we try to reduce energy consumption, CLICK HERE.

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