About Form and Refine

Form & Refine is an honest Danish interior brand that pays homage to Scandinavian design while, at the same time, supporting time-honoured traditions. Ethically and ecologically driven, each piece of their furniture, ceramic and home textile tells a story about its material. Their aesthetic is clean, sober and elegant, and their objects have a long-lasting character that becomes more precious over time. Founded in 2018 as a joint vision of Helle Herman Mortensen, Jonas Herman Pedersen and Lasse Lund Lauridsen, their intent was to create a value-driven brand that explores future-proof materials, protects the earth, and preserves craft cultures around the world.

 

Through an exceptional design philosophy, the brand wants to break new ground and celebrate the natural form of the materials they carefully collect. Whether it’s sourcing alpaca wool in the highlands of Bolivia, unique kinds of wood from the Damsbo forest in Denmark’s Funen Island, or clay from the region of Alcobaça, Portugal – Form & Refine believes that the best manufacturing skills for each material are found in their country of origin. They care about making a positive social impact and safeguarding ancient processing techniques, so they establish fair and respectful partnerships with small factories and cooperatives.

 

The pride Form & Refine takes in sourcing pure materials and their commitment to craftsmanship and know-how of local experts is reflected in their products’ timeless quality and classic expression.

The comarché framework

Product lifecycle

Brand sustainability

Pursuing sustainability since the day it was founded, Form & Refine is a socially responsible company interested in connecting worlds through threads of social projects and ethical design. By ways of supporting cultures and individuals that rely upon craft, the company believes it can help preserve our environment. For them, making the world a better place is a way of life and all their commitments are aligned with some of the UN’s Sustainability Goals.

 

Long Product Life Cycle to Minimize Overproduction

By its name, Form & Refine’s passion revolves around keeping the integrity of natural materials and allowing their designs to refine as the years progress. They are dedicated to find the purest materials of high ecological quality to ensure their products will stand the test of time. A proponent of slow living practices and using our natural resources wisely and responsibly, the company produces small batches of products each year, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Their claim rate is also very low, comparing more favourably to most in the interior industry. A low claim rate means a much smaller impact on the environment as it reduces the number of items that need to be produced.

 

Natural Materials

Natural materials have a much smaller impact concerning CO2 emissions when compared to other materials. The brand uses only the most durable and conscious materials like wood, brass, steel, clay, alpaca, cork and raw vegetable tanned leather, all of which will patinate beautifully over time. Their Aymara Alpaca collection is made of 100% pure alpaca fibres, which are ecologically friendly and keep their natural character during processing. For their ceramics, they use Portuguese sourced clay – a malleable material composed of minerals and water, found naturally in the earth. Their webbing is made of natural linen, which is a high-quality natural fibre made from the flax plant. One of the oldest cultivated crops in the world, flax is also a high tensile strength material, making it extremely durable and long-lasting.

 

Certified Materials Used

Form & Refine’s heart and soul is high-quality wood as it’s undoubtedly one of the most sustainable materials in the world, with a lesser impact on the environment compared to other materials. Apart from being a naturally renewable material, it’s also highly resistant, recyclable, great at retaining heat, absorbs CO2, and its waste is 100% biodegradable. All the wood they use for their premium furniture – such as ash, maple and oak – is either sourced from FSC certified European forests, or sustainably grown in the PEFC certified Damsbo Forest on Funen Island. Through the proud co-ownership of the Damsbo Forest, Form & Refine is constantly learning about the positive impact good forestry has on the wider environment.

 

Upcycled Materials

Form & Refine always aims to find new ways of minimizing their impact on the environment, from the beginning to the completion of their manufacturing process. With their OffCuts line, they have set to make use of discarded materials used in their wood and textile manufacturing. Upcycling is the process of transforming by-products or waste materials into new fabrics or products. By using offcuts to create circular products, they unlock the full potential of these valuable materials and give them a new function and lease on life.

 

Recycled Materials

Never advocating for conventional plastic, the company uses rPET only when its properties make sense and are difficult to replace by other materials, such as parts of their packaging and stuffing for their inner cushions. PET is one of the few types of plastic that can be recycled, since it’s made of a few simple ingredients and contains no toxins. For the rest of their packaging, Form & Refine uses either ordinary or recycled honeycomb cardboard, as well as paper tape and protective filling made of shredded recycled cardboard. That being said, the brand is looking into going completely plastic-free, recycled or otherwise, in the near future.

 

Handmade Production in Country of Origin

Form & Refine believes that the most qualified craftsmen to handle their manufacturing are best found in the material’s country of origin. Therefore, they process all materials in line with the skills and traditions of their respective countries. Most of their wooden furniture production takes place on Danish soil, close to their main workshops. They help preserve ancient pottery techniques used to manufacture their ceramics, while also supporting a cooperative of alpaca farmers in the highlands of Bolivia through the art of weaving and age-old wisdom. By pairing these local materials with skilled neighbouring workshops, Form & Refine achieves the highest level of craftsmanship.

 

Reduced Pollution in Production

All their steel production has been redirected to come 100% from green electricity produced by wind power. In addition, they avoid air transportation altogether and only use ships or trucks as means of transportation for their materials. One of their goals is that the maximum radius for sourcing and processing their materials never exceeds 100 km.

 

Reduced Use of Chemicals & Toxins in Production

The Alpaca wool the company uses is never exposed to any chemicals or toxins. They use almost entirely natural colouring of the alpaca breed and add only a few eco-friendly dyes to the yarns, which are approved for garment manufacture. An important producer of oxygen, cork is an environmentally friendly material that biodegrades completely and can be easily recycled without producing any toxic residues. For their leather, they employ vegetable tanning – an organic method that relies upon natural vegetable tannins from bark or other plant tissues. Their coloured aniline leather seating is chrome-free and Nordic Ecolabel certified, and their high-quality stoneware is completely non-toxic, food-safe, and lead-free. Across their entire collection, they use only natural water-based oil, wax, and glue.

 

Social Sustainability

Form & Refine prioritizes practices that favour social equity and speak to the ethical aspects of sustainability. They specifically work to preserve the rights of indigenous communities and keep ancient craftsmanship alive. By working with cooperatives and small family-owned workshops, it gives them better control of employee welfare and human rights matters. All their alpaca wool comes from a cooperative of 400 local farmers in the Andes region of Bolivia, for whom textile production is the main source of income. Their steel products are assembled and packed by inmates of the Horsens State Prison. Another partner is one of the oldest woodturners in Denmark – a family-owned and run business whose craft and livelihood they work on promoting. Form & Refine wants to continue working with more socially-minded manufacturers and explore new ways of creating positive social impact

 

Brand Ethos

Founded in 2018 by Helle Herman Mortensen, Jonas Herman Pedersen and Lasse Lund Lauridsen, Form & Refine is a Danish design brand crafting furniture and interior objects that stand the test of time. Seeing design as a way of storytelling, the founders set out to tell the tale of great materials, local craft traditions and aesthetic principles through all their products.

 

The company carefully collects raw and natural materials from around the world, always honouring and supporting their honest expression. Form & Refine allows their materials to retain their original shape and characteristics as much as possible, while never compromising on quality.

 

Proud to build upon the Nordic design tradition, the brand strives to honour and acknowledge those who came before them, all the while breaking new ground. They value aesthetics, function and materials equally, and believe that this design trifecta is the foundation for their conscious collections of long-lasting furniture and interior objects.

The Comarché Notes

Outfitting your home in a smart and conscious way cannot get any easier than with Form & Refine’s wide variety of ethically-made interiors. Their high-quality options employ materials harvested from sustainable resources and responsible production practices – and all at very competitive prices!

Sustainable highlights on brand level

  • This indicates that the brand has actively sought out Fair Working Conditions for the producers of its product(s).

Product Lifecycle

Design

The Design Phase is a crucial part of determining a product’s sustainable capabilities. We’ve chosen to highlight a few genius steps that enable a sustainable product right from the beginning.

    Material & Material Extraction

    The materials used for a certain product and how these materials come to life are of crucial importance to the sustainable capabilities we seek in products.

      Transportation of Materials

      This step relates to the transportation of the raw materials from when they are first obtained (harvested etc.) to the production site. Obviously, the closer to the production site, the better.

        Production

        Obviously, the production of a certain product has an impact on the overall level of sustainability. Luckily, many manufacturers have now taken steps towards more sustainable production methods.

          Packaging

          How a brand chooses to package its products will have a significant influence of the carbon impact from packaging and transportation.

            Distribution

            This step relates to the distribution of products when they have been produced. Obviously, the closer to the brand’s warehouse, the better.

              Usage

              How you choose to use and take care of a product has a bigger impact than you think. Just think about how much longer a shirt lasts if it has been washed in the right way.

                End of life

                At this step, there is no way out and we have to find some way of discarding our product. How we discard a product will significantly influence the opportunity of reusing materials used.

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