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Our luxury, environmentally friendly bean bags have been hand made in Cornwall, UK, ever since starting in 2016. Like many people, we were fed up with all the single use plastic being used, that ends up in landfill and our amazing oceans.
Our products are made as eco-friendly as possible, including the use of our compostable foam beads made from corn starch – being C02 neutral, odourless and completely harmless to the environment.
Traditional beanbag filling is entirely plastic-based, and the small foam beads end up taking hundreds of years to breakdown. We needed to introduce a more sustainable option to the soft furnishings market.
The thread we use for stitching the beanbags together is made from recycled plastic bottles, and we use a high quality cotton weave fabrics for our covers. Our inner lining, to hold the compostable filling, is made from natural calico cotton.
We design and create each of our bean-based products here in Cornwall, individually inspired by the neutral & contemporary tones of nature. With colour sets from Sky & Ocean, to Pebble & Orca, there’s a style for every home.

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What is Biofoam?

BioFoam® is a plant-based alternative to expanded polystyrene. It looks similar, but is made from vegetable materials rather than petroleum based plastic. This means that it is derived from a renewable resource, has an organic base and is biodegradable.

Why is Biofoam better than traditional beanbag filling?

Most beanbags are filled with polystyrene (referred to as EPS: expanded polystyrene, or styrofoam). This is a petroleum-based plastic created through a chemical process. The harmful effects of polystyrene on people’s health and the environment are well documented: from health issues to environmental impact and pollution from the polystyrene itself as well as from the manufacturing process.

Polystyrene is a non-renewable resource and once created, it can last for hundreds of years. As a non-biodegradable substance, it is very difficult to recycle or repurpose. It is commonly disposed of through landfill, where it breaks down into tiny particles. It is also a major contributor to plastic pollution in our marine environments, where it can enter the food chain, harming wildlife and ultimately being consumed. 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters our oceans every year.

At The Big Beanbag Company, we are committed to never using EPS in our products, our manufacturing and supply chain or our working environment.

Can Biofoam be reused?

BioFoam® can be reused multiple times without loss of quality or any reduction in the properties that make it so useful. It’s a perfect filling for our bean bags, as it is lightweight and keeps its shape, it provides great insulation and shock absorption, is hygienic and durable. It can also be reshaped and moulded, and is on track to become an eco-friendly alternative to polystyrene packaging.

Our products are handmade in Cornwall and we take every step we can to ensure our products have a minimal effect on the environment.

Polystyrene is a non-renewable resource and once created, it can last for hundreds of years. As a non-biodegradable substance, it is very difficult to recycle or repurpose. It is commonly disposed of through landfill, where it breaks down into tiny particles. It is also a major contributor to plastic pollution in our marine environments, where it can enter the food chain, harming wildlife and ultimately being consumed. 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters our oceans every year.

At The Big Beanbag Company, we are committed to never using EPS in our products, our manufacturing and supply chain or our working environment.

How do I compost the Biofoam filling in my beanbag?

BioFoam® is biodegradable and can be composted through an industrial composting process or through a hot composter. Hot composters are becoming increasingly popular for domestic use, as they don’t take up much space and are a great alternative to plastic waste bins or open cold compost bins that create odour while attracting flies and vermin.

Is Biofoam child and pet friendly?

BioFoam® itself is a child and pet friendly substance. If ingested, BioFoam® is harmless as it is an organically derived product. In addition, our products have two lockable safety zips. This prevents a child from accessing the harmless filling, while allowing you to remove the outer cover for cleaning.

Does Biofoam meet fire safety standards?

Our products meet all applicable British safety standards, including fire safety. We are tested to BS 7176:2007 Low Hazard standard for domestic household use. Our outer cover fabrics are all made from natural cotton and tested to cover schedule 4 cigarette test, with a tested schedule 3 barrier interliner. Our BioFoam® itself has been tested to schedule 2 for non-foam fillings and fibres.

To make our products to a higher standard as possible they are also tested to BS 5852:2006, Section 11 for non-domestic environments. This test covers all composites used on all our products. For structure and durability our bean products have been tested to EN 16139 Test level 1 for general non-domestic environments.

How do you minimise the impact of your products on the environment?

We are determined to keep the environmental impact of our products to a minimum. We are environmentally ethical in all areas of production, with processes that use the least amount of energy and create minimal waste. This includes the materials we use and our manufacturing process, as well as our approach to how we run our business.

The materials in our products can be reused, recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. We’re always keen to help our customers with this – for example, if a customer wants a new cover for one of our products, they can return the old one to us (we’ll repurpose and reuse the fabric) and we’ll give them a discount on a new cover.

We are always looking for new ways to improve what we do, and we’re keen to hear from companies or potential partners who have the same approach and want to work with us to do more for the environment.

Email us at [email protected].

Where are your products made?

Our products are handmade to order in Cornwall. We pride ourselves with care and attention to detail that you’d expect from a company committed to creating luxury products that provide comfort and style without damaging the environment.

Is the fabric you use eco-friendly?

The fabrics used in our products are high quality cotton, and sourced in the U.K. This is a better environmental choice to traditional bean bag fabrics, which often contain viscose or polyester. The cotton we choose is hard wearing – it’s been thoroughly tested to make sure that it stands up to life as a bean bag, and our customers appreciate that cotton is a more sustainable choice and less damaging than other man-made alternatives.

Why do you use cotton?

We have looked into a wide variety of fabric options. Our eco-friendly considerations always take first priority and we’ve also looked at the need for durability, look and feel. We researched the option of using organic cotton, but our testing processes found that it wouldn’t be durable enough for our products, and customers would have needed replacements far sooner than with our cotton fabric choice. We felt this wasn’t a good solution from an environmental perspective.

 

Throughout our research, cotton has stood out as the best alternative to the polyester-based fabrics that are currently available and widely used in bean bags. In the long term, we hope that there will an environmentally friendly fabric that will replace cotton and we’re committed to sourcing and using alternatives in the future, as soon as these options become viable choices for our products.