Truly Reclaimed label

The Truly Reclaimed label that Salvo hopes will be used to demonstrate the eco credentials of architectural antiques.

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The Truly Reclaimed campaign is designed to provide assurance that a product is genuinely being reused and therefore offers a significant reduction in carbon emissions.

“Antique and reclaimed materials have always been celebrated for their connection with history, but they are increasingly recognised for the environmental value that reuse brings to living spaces,” says Sara Morel, Salvo’s CEO.

Labelling push for Truly Reclaimed materials

“We believe ‘reclaimed’ is a brand worth protecting and labelling will increase visibility.

“Discreetly applied to reclaimed timber, bricks, stone, concrete and metalwork, QR codes can tell the story of the material and the building it came from as well as the carbon consequences of reusing it.

“We hope a growing map of suppliers and eco-conscious design destinations that feature Truly Reclaimed materials will be the heart of the label.”

Soft launch stage

The label is currently in a ‘soft launch’ stage with some Salvo members, such as The Antique Oak Flooring Company and Mongers Architectural Salvage, beginning to use it on new and past projects.

Salvo envisages the Truly Reclaimed label as an extension of the longstanding Salvo Code, a peer-reviewed community of businesses that meet high standards in responsible sourcing. The idea of the label was mooted by Salvo seven years ago as large quantities of ‘lookalike’ reproduction products came on the market.

Businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector that were previously committed users of salvage, started to use them as a cheaper alternative to achieve the same look.

Salvo made a successful application for a government grant in 2015 but the project was shelved when funding was withdrawn.

It has been revived following the input of the Facilitating Circulation of Reclaimed Buildings (FCRBE) project based in Brussels that is aimed at increasing the reuse of architectural salvage and reclaimed building material in the UK and north-west Europe by 50%. The French iteration of the label is Réemploi Attesté.

Salvo was formed in 1991 by dealers Thornton Kay and the late Hazel Matravers to promote reuse and reduce the amount of salvageable materials that ended up in landfill. It now hosts fairs and an online marketplace.

Truly Reclaimed – the statistics

Salvo provides a series of statistics illustrating the carbon benefits of reusing antique and reclaimed material using numbers supplied by Craig Jones at Circular Ecology and Prof Mike Berners-Lee at Lancaster University.

• A restaurant fitted out with Truly Reclaimed wood floors and wall cladding saves the energy of 975 bottles of wine

• Fitting reclaimed wood floors in just one room of a house saves the energy of 54 nights in a low-carbon hotel

• Using reclaimed wood for shelving in a shop saves the energy used in making 315 pairs of jeans