Spec Finds A Sustainable Offcut Fabric Recycling Solution

Sep 2016
One of Spec’s biggest waste streams is fabric: upon project completion the factory is left with small fabric rolls or even smaller offcuts. To reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, Spec had historically sold the remaining fabric to small businesses that reuse it to make bags or to Spec employees for personal use – all proceeds were donated to local charity. The left over fabric has also been donated to local school boards or Habitat for Humanity, on a per need basis. This process however was very ad hoc, and Spec needed to find a long-term systematic solution to manage fabric waste.
After some searching, Spec found a company that recycles fabric offcuts, shreds and extracts them into fibers, and makes industrial cleaning cloths, gloves, blankets, carpet underlay and other. The new solution has allowed Spec to divert 34 tonnes of fabric from the landfill to date.

Spec's Packaging Further Reduces Environmental Impact

Mar 2016

Ensuring our products arrive in one piece without breaking the bank is a delicate balance. Challenged with a task to use less packaging and reduce freight cost, in November 2015 Spec redesigned its boxes for our stacking chairs. We were previously using skids to prevent boxes from getting damaged. While clearly ensuring the product is handled appropriately, this method prevented us from maximizing the space on our trailers.

So we started thinking inside the box. We eliminated the skid, elevated each chair off the ground, and separated the chairs from each other. This way if the box is dropped the weight of all the chairs is not on the bottom chair's legs. If dropped, the weight of all the chairs is directed to the underside of each chair instead of the legs. This new design has reduced our shipping costs dramatically by reducing the cubic feet required, and therefore the number of trucks needed to transport product. Our environmental impact has been significantly reduced. We’ve seen a reduction in shipping claims, which means more product is arriving at their destinations in factory condition, and Spec manufacturing team is focused on meeting new customer orders instead of remaking damaged product. All the packaging used is made from a high percentage of recycled materials (mostly cardboard) and is 100% recyclable.