*As seen in The Logbook. Issue 4.
Designed to be different, Fou Furnishings ® was set up from scratch in 2009 by Stephanie McIntosh. Created to be a luxury organic and Fairtrade linens company, Stephanie explains that she was aware of how our choices link to the human story behind the products. Wanting to be a business that treated all suppliers fairly, she decided to set up a sustainable supply chain that she could trust.
The business is run by Stephanie McIntosh and her husband, Gordon McIntosh is a director. With extensive consultancy experience in business change and transformation Gordon provides sound advice and strategic overview for the business, ensuring that the associated decisions made are the right ones.
According to Stephanie, it took over a year of research to get started. This included research on cotton supply chains, sourcing options, design development and developing specifications for their products. This was an important step that Stephanie was determined to complete to ensure that the framework for their supply chain was established from the outset. During this time, Stephanie also completed an MSc in Product Design and Development, it was here that she developed a definition of the business’s underlying principle.
“Our sustainable supply chain …as one which is economically viable, socially just and environmentally sound for all partners involved and at all stages of the supply chain.”
The mission for the McIntosh’s, is to sell originally designed linens, made from the very best organic cottons, priced fairly and offering affordable luxury; whether it’s a bothy project on the isle of Eigg or a boutique hotel.
“I wanted to offer customers a different choice from the mass-produced brands out there; backed up with very personal and passionate service,” Stephanie says.
THE NITTY GRITTY.
Depending on the product, it can take less than a week to over three months to produce a finished article. Not including freight time. Stephanie explains that they source from the UK, Italy, Germany and the EU, so production times vary. They also hold stocks in the warehouse when possible to provide a faster turn-around.
Organic textiles are made from organic cotton or wool, produced using natural processes and without harmful chemicals. Fou Furnishings’ products have the Global Organic Textile Standard, (GOTS) and the UK Soil Association symbol on them so there is no ‘green washing’. This means that every stage of the product’s journey from organic cotton seed to Welsh wool to sewing is traceable.
CUSTOMER SERVICE RELATIONSHIPS.
To keep in touch with their customers, Fou Furnishings has a monthly newsletter and relies heavily on customer feedback post shipping. Stephanie says, “Customer testimonials are an essential way to tell how our business is doing on this crucial front and to know where we should direct things for the future.”
A great deal of bespoke sourcing takes place, so new products can be very much led by the client. Stephanie says, “I am looking to establish UK sewing which can allow us to develop more original product and we are expanding further into bedding to include a wider range of duvets, pillows and bedding protection and introducing organic mattresses.”
ADDRESS: Registered Office, 12 Waterside Gardens, Carmunnock, Glasgow, G76 9AL, United Kingdom. Also, London base, 1 Woodland Rise, London, N10 3UP, United Kingdom.
TELEPHONE NUMBER: Glasgow Office: +44 (0)141 644 5211. London: +44 (0)208 292 4096 Mobile: +44 (0) 7733 305828.
PRICE: Pillow cases starting at £10 retail to duvet covers from £44 retail. Trade accounts/prices and volume discounts available on enquiry