Design & Refurbishment
Refurbishments and fit-outs create significant waste. High street operators tend to be trend-driven and will look to refurbish every five years or so. We don’t buy into this mindset, and we wanted our refurbishment to be an exercise in longevity and sustainability. With this in mind, we set ourselves the following targets:
- Re-use as many of the existing items on site as possible.
- Ensure as few things as possible are thrown away.
- Purchase as many second-hand items as possible.
- Source all other items responsibly.
When we acquired the lease to the pub, it came fully loaded with stock, fixtures, fittings, and catering equipment. We conducted a complete inventory to work out what we would reuse and what we could repurpose.
We aimed to find new homes for all the items we didn’t plan to use. Through our contacts and the power of social media, we were able to re-home nearly 30 tonnes of catering equipment, fixtures, and fittings, preventing them from going to industrial recycling. This effort saved over 0.5 tonnes of CO2e in recycling emissions alone (according to UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting).
We then set ourselves the goal of purchasing as much as possible second-hand.
Resultantly, we are proud to say almost every piece of furniture, cutlery, fixture and fitting in The Pig’s Head is second-hand and has had a previous life.
- All of our tables and chairs are vintage.
- We turned antique cabinets into waiter stations.
- The dining room is clad in reclaimed timber.
- Every mirror, piece of art, plant pot and plant pot stand is vintage.
- Our front-of-house light fittings are vintage (our over-bar lights were initially used to illuminate a motorway).
- We purchased 150 wooden salt and pepper shakers from a restaurant that had unfortunately closed.
- All of our cutlery, sharing platters and side plates are antique.
- Even our sound system is second-hand!
As a result of our sustainable refurbishment approach, we achieved significant CO2e savings (although the exact total remains difficult to calculate due to data limitations).
A study from the Furniture Industry Research Association estimated the average CO2e emissions for a contract furniture dining table, commonly used in pubs and restaurants, to be 25kg, while a contract furniture dining chair averages 27kg of CO2e.
In our case, we purchased 120 vintage farmhouse chairs and 25 Victorian and Georgian tables. Using the above data, sourcing vintage tables and chairs saved nearly 4 tonnes of CO2e alone!
One area where we chose not to buy second-hand was kitchen and bar equipment. Instead, we invested in the most energy-efficient equipment we could afford, knowing that the difference in purchase price would be more than compensated for over the life span of the equipment.