The story of Milestone Design's
“First Eco Design”.
by Julian Richards
Our first faltering steps into eco design began in 2006 when my wife and myself were sat at home treating ourselves to the odd gin & tonic or two (ish) and at some point during the evening one of us said, "Go on then ... we've been recycling for ages and I've never seen a thing in the shops that's made from the things we recycle.... what CAN we buy that’s recycled?"
We struggled ...... the best thing we could come up with, at that time, was recycled toilet rolls from the supermarket.
Poor effort really, I don't know whether it was our impaired mental state or what but we decided the following day to try and source recycled materials in the U.K. to build kitchens and built-in furniture from. Giving some reward for effort to help encourage people to recycle more and try to promote the message that we can use these materials efficiently, rather than just keep digging massive holes in the countryside to bury the problem, ruining our planet.
There began probably the hardest year I've had in business so far and we, as a nation, still do not seem to embrace the use of recycled materials in this country as much as we should.
Cutting out all the positive thinking clichés that kept me going, while I felt like I was wading through mud trying to navigate the eco apathy in our wonderful country, a year later, we had a smart new totally recycled content kitchen display sat in our showroom .... we believe it to be the first time it had ever been successfully attempted and carried out in a retail kitchen showroom ever !! AND I'm very proud to say that everything in it was 'Made in Britain.'
We can do it when we try, it's hard work but we feel it’s worth the effort !, We got loads of newspaper and magazine coverage and our 'Kitchens of Recycled Content' were off and running.
To build on the back of the first successful kitchen, it soon became obvious that more colour choices would be needed to widen appeal, so using the carcassing material to make cabs and doors, our Eco² and EcoSelect ranges were created to fill that need.
Eco² being the grown up kitchen featuring full customisation, soft close everything and an initial choice of 16 colours. EcoSelect, while still built on the same basic cabinet had less colour choices, no soft close and standard sizes only, which as a result we are able to offer it at a lower cost, making Eco affordable to everybody.
Eco² cabinets are now the foundation block for every single kitchen that we install, and still has the best eco credentials of any timber board material in the industry (75% recycled timber, 25% FSC certified).
Our original 'Kitchens of Recycled Content' were fitted with doors made from our 100% recycled Yoghurt Pots material, and worktops from our 100% recycled content Coffee Cup material (100% recycled content made predominantly from recycled vending machine coffee cups), both totally recycled materials which behave very much like Corian, but are a lot more environmentally friendly. Both can be infinitely refurbished and refinished and are, once more totally recyclable at the end of their life in a kitchen.
These days, both our Yoghurt Pot and Coffee Cup materials tend to be used only for worktops, with doors being now being manufactured in our Glacier material (95% recycled content uPVC from the windows industry), which we introduced in 2019.
We continue to seek new ways of incorporating recycled materials into our product range, with zero compromise on the quality of our kitchens.
One of our original 'Kitchens of Recycled Content' (KORC), fitted with Yoghurt Pot doors and Coffee Cup worktops.
A more recent KORC installation, in Saltburn, North Yorkshire (2019), using our Glacier doors and a stunning Yoghurt Pot worktop.
Eco² Cabinets in Silversteel, complimented by our 100% recycled coffee cup worktop, installed at BRE Innovation Park in Ravenscraig.
An Eco-glass-tronomy kitchen that we fitted in London. Eco² Cabinets, with Glacier doors and a recycled glass worktop.