Say no to toxic furniture

Anyone who knows Good Beans knows we love crafting, and both Ella and Claire have links to the upholstery industry. It’s always better to repair and recycle, and reupholstery is vital if we want to reduce the amount of furniture needlessly going to waste.

We met Delyth Fetherstone-Dilke recently at an event in Bristol where she described the out of date fire rules for the UK upholstery industry, which unlike Europe and the US, is reliant on the use of Chemical Fire Retardants (CFR’s). These ‘forever chemicals’ leach easily from fabrics and foams, and are responsible for ill effects in animals, soil and our bodies, especially those of children. The situation is so bad that the government acknowledges chemically treated furniture is a bio hazard and must be treated as toxic waste and incinerated, rather than landfilled where it poses a threat to the soil and groundwater systems.

The government has proposed changes to the legislation which, if applied, will actually increase the amount of CFR’s used in upholstery. This is not only bad for our health, but also poses threats to the reupholstery industry as these vital furniture recyclers are exposed to chemicals, while also facing challenges navigating new complex rules.

Good Beans were keen to support the cause, and offered our services pro bono. The deadline to respond to the proposed regulations was looming and we needed as many people as possible to make their voice heard.

There is a lot of technical information surrounding this subject and Delyth was struggling to articulate clearly the issues and actions. We set about breaking down the information, creating campaign messaging and clear guidance for the website. From there it was about drumming support, which is Delyth’s forte. Using Instagram and email as the main tactics, the campaign was spread far and wide, resulting in over 15,000 hits to the site. By the deadline, the open letter was signed by 5793 people, exceeding our expectations and illustrating the strength of feeling about this subject.

“Good Beans are brilliant at describing complex information in a clear and succinct way. They were also quick to respond to campaign developments and offer valuable strategic insight”.
Delyth Fetherston Dilke, Upholsterer and Campaigner

It was a pleasure to work with Delyth, and we now are waiting for the government’s response. Hopefully now they will see the resistance to these chemicals and the campaign paves the way for a more sustainable and innovative upholstery industry.

Since our campaign with Delyth, press articles have been released about the issue by The Mirror, The Daily Star, and the i paper. And the Guardian have published this piece about the threat of CFRs to wildlife.

For updates, visit