OCEAN BLUE PROJECT PARTNERS WITH THIBAUT!
By Sharmista Sahu
“Did you know by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish?
Creativity is at the forefront as companies are evolving their sustainability practices. We encourage, support, and celebrate the new products and practices businesses are implementing to protect and restore our waterways and ocean.
Our partner, Thibaut, is doing their part to transform single-use plastic into something beautiful. Read on to learn how our partnership is preserving our ocean.
We’re excited to partner with our friends at Thibaut, and we can’t wait for what our future holds together!”
The Ocean Partnership
Established in 1886, Thibaut is the nation’s oldest wallpaper firm. The growing home furnishings brand, known for its bold patterns and colorful style, has evolved into a one-stop shop for interior designers, offering wallpaper, fabrics, trimmings, and high-end furniture. Thibaut is sold in thousands of trade locations across the globe with corporate showrooms in NYC, LA, Chicago and Atlanta.
With 135 years of history, this legacy brand is expanding its horizons by launching a new eco-friendly product offering. Thibaut’s latest fabric collection, Club Velvet, is a casual velvet made from recycled plastic bottles. The brand is partnering with Ocean Blue Project to evolve its sustainable practices, educate its community on conscious design, and double its impact.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Thibaut’s CEO, Rick Kilmer, to learn more about the partnership and their new collection.
Q: How does Club Velvet differ from other velvets currently on the market?A: Club Velvet transforms “waste” into something beautiful. Every year, there are 6 million single-use plastic bottles discarded, worldwide. This collection uses nearly 400,000 post-consumer plastic bottles (PET) and weaves 17 bottles in every yard. The impact in producing the collection was fantastic and we are expanding on that to continually bring positive change on every Club Velvet purchase. For every yard sold, Thibaut will donate one dollar to the Ocean Blue Project. Ocean Blue will recover one pound of microplastics from our beaches, ocean, and waterways for every dollar they receive.
Club Velvet is also a performance fabric, meaning it is durable, washable, resistant to wear and tear, and will not fade or degrade when placed in sun-exposed rooms. Consumers will enjoy this upholstery fabric for years to come! Velvets of the past used to be precious and delicate with an old-world charm. This introduction unveils an innovative design for a timeless fabric. We are proud of this reuse story.
Q: Conscious design is continuing to be in focus in the fashion industry, do you see this trend continuing in home design? Do you hope to do more of it in the future?
A: Upcycling is not as prevalent in the subsets of the design industry yet, but it is moving towards conscious concepts. I see the potential because the design community has always rallied around unique creativity.
Thibaut is committed to bringing more eco-friendly products to the market. Club Velvet is our debut collection under Ethos, a category dedicated to be consciously crafted and derived from sustainably sourced products. We are proud to be setting the stage for this conversation. We must have these pivotal conversations around upcycling, and it’s up to us to begin.
Q: As a brand, how do you envision educating your designer customers?
“We like to present our designers as heroes for the homeowners.”
A: The key to education is transparency. We always strive to be assertive in our approach to internal processes with positive consequences for the consumer.
Externally, we have a solution-oriented approach. The end consumer is aware of the need for conscious design, and we want to make sure that we can offer a solution. We have those conversations with our clients, who are interior designers, and they, in turn, have these conversations with homeowners. It then becomes a push/pull effect. We like our designers as heroes for the homeowners.
Internally, we have conversations daily around impact, activity tracking, how to avoid waste, and sustainable design opportunities. We achieve small milestones along the way whether it’s the number of trees saved from our warehouse cardboard recycling program, replacing plastic cups with stainless steel mugs, or installing reverse osmosis water for employees in our corporate offices. It’s all about celebrating progress we are always looking for new ways to innovate and upcycle. Want to see more of what we do, follow us on Instagram!
Q: Why did Thibaut decide to partner with Ocean Blue Project?
A: 55% of waterways in America are in poor condition. If nothing changes, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Once you start looking at water and water supply, at least in the US, you see the extent of education, support, and required revolution. Ocean Blue is passionate and committed to this work and the chemistry between our companies was apparent. They felt like a natural fit and a genuine, long-term partner. Their mission is to protect and conserve the ocean and they do this through hands-on volunteer efforts, service-learning programs, and microplastic recovery programs. We recognize and commend their relentless effort and are proud to support and call attention to the important work.
Q: This is Thibaut’s 135th anniversary, what have been the pillars of success? What does the future look like for the brand?
A: Thibaut started in 1886 as a wallpaper company and has evolved into a broader design-centered product solution of wallpaper, fabric, furniture, and trimmings. Our archives mark the history of our evolution and are an endless source of inspiration.
Today, Thibaut comes to market as a design authority and as a one-stop shop for interior designers. Every time a designer calls Thibaut, we want them to be delighted. We are continually investing in new technology and processes to create a better experience for our customers.
“Every time a designer calls Thibaut, we want them to be delighted.”
We are passionate about beautiful design, which is defined differently by everyone! As a result, our strategic planning and operating environments revolve around developing a unique value proposition balancing price with design. At Thibaut, we focus on keeping the collections timeless, therefore designing with a longer horizon. Our product development process is 18 months on average, bringing to market 10-12 collections annually that are season agnostic.
Staying true to who we are is also key to our success story. Creating beautiful products is just as important as ensuring they are relevant and authentic. Asking “why” is at the core of what we do for the design community and the client. We want our product to reflect the crossroads between our historic storytelling and current-day expectations, that’s the space from which we create and, historically, has been our best practice.
Our vision is for a new generation of designers to be approachable to the next wave of homeowners. Establishing sustainable practices and creating positive impact is the way forward, and we are just getting started.
About Ocean Blue Project
Ocean Blue Project is an environmental non-profit, on a mission to clean the world ocean of 1 million pounds of plastic. A mission that is as vast, critical, and inspiring as the ocean itself.
In 2012, Father-and-son Richard and Fleet Arterbury started the Ocean Blue Project in Newport, Oregon. They’re tribal members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Diverse individuals and organizations take part in many initiatives. They donate and support the Ocean Blue Project in many ways. This aligns with its core values of Collaboration, Equality, and Action
Where can I start right now?
Like, follow, share your support on Ocean Blue Project’s social media. Share your initiatives, ideas, and anything that you’re doing to make a change. Keep the momentum going towards cleaner oceans and a greener Earth!
Whether you are an organization or individual, to learn how you can make a difference today, find out more on the website.
Join our ongoing ‘Give and Get’ Save the Waves campaign and help us recover 1 million pounds of debris and plastic from our ocean and waterways. This summer we hope to see you at Jack Johnson concert and be sure to stop by and say hello at the Ocean Blue Project event table.
Author bio: Sharmista Sahu is a marketing and communication professional. She loves to write an impactful story. Creating value and giving back is important to her and she does this by volunteering for nonprofits. On one hand, she loves the outdoors— treks, nature trails, and swimming in the sea. And on the other, she loves to curl up with a book and her cat.