We are delighted to have been chosen as the WINNER of the Global Player Category at The Furniture Awards 2022.
A note from the judges:
This category is for businesses that major in imports, recognising those which have ensured continuous and successful supply despite the pandemic. With close ties to the Far East, and Indonesia in particular, winner Bluebone (stands 2-F10/F20) managed to bring new ranges to market in 2020 despite global travel restrictions, in turn helping many of its partner manufacturers survive the crisis. It absorbed much of the heightened shipping charges and ensured its stockists were ready for retail’s reopenings, while making good headway in the garden and outdoor segment. Bluebone also grew sales in Europe and implemented more effective distance-working procedures.
“They’re not a huge player, but Bluebone resisted the price increases longer than most,” said the judges. “They’re proven their adaptability and commitment to every level of the supply chain.”
The Bluebone journey:
We at Bluebone have been sourcing furniture and homewares from around the globe for over 25 years, and have created a successful brand that is renowned for rustic solid wood pieces with a clever design edge.
With close ties to the Far East and Indonesia in particular, we have forged long standing relationships with our suppliers, and regularly visited our factories until the pandemic halted travel for the last eighteen months.
In March 2020 our buying team were forced to cut short our trip to Vietnam and Indonesia, and were unable to return for 2 years.
This final trip proved to be invaluable, and enabled us to start developing several new ranges, which were brought to market throughout 2020, despite the global lockdown.
It was imperative to support our supply chain, particularly as these countries were seriously affected by the virus, with lengthy lockdowns and slower vaccine rollouts than here in the UK. For many of these small family run businesses, the continuity of placing orders and shipping stock made all the difference and was a fundamental enabler in their survival.
Despite the absence of global travel, we have developed some really exciting new product for 2022, by introducing regular zoom meetings, and appointing a Far East Supply Manager to source and liaise with our suppliers locally.
Locally sourced materials are key to the authenticity of Bluebone’s global style, and as the UK market increasingly becomes aware of the environmental footprint of consumer goods, great importance is placed on sustainability. Many of our ranges are completely made from recycled and waste wood, and new timber ranges use managed plantation timbers like Mango wood, once it has passed its fruit bearing years. Our best selling Leila Range is constructed from carefully selected slim teak branches that would otherwise be discarded. The Iona tabletops use recycled old bamboo and driftwood. Sleek glass tops lift these ranges to befit both contemporary and more eclectic interiors.
New for 2022, explore our Tokio Ropework Tables and baskets, bold Monochrome patterned cylinder tables, and quirky backgammon and chessboard trays and occasional pieces. Our stands at the January Furniture Show will reflect the stylish and practical designs of our furniture. With an award for our Best dressed Stand at the Autumn Furniture Show, we hope our displays in April will inspire and evoke the global character of our product, whilst maintaining an element of fun.