Saturday, 3 September 2016

#Organic September

Small changes make a big difference. 
Why not switch to organic with us this month?

Friday, 8 July 2016

Natural or Organic Mattresses - what's the difference?

Researching organic mattresses on the internet can be confusing.

There are now several makers, eg Happy Beds (found on ebay), calling their products "organic" when, in truth, they are often just using organic cotton for the outer ticking (mattress cover) and then still adding chemical fire retardants to pass UK standards.

The old adage, 'You get what you pay for' could never be truer in these cases, since the cost of truly organic materials would be more than these mattresses are being sold for!

We have also come across other mattress makers, such as Cambridge Natural Mattress, who are claiming that organic mattresses are still treated with chemical fire retardants and that their 'natural' product is the best choice to avoid FR treatments and chemical residues.

While this may be true for makers such as Happy Beds, it's quite wrong for them to mislead customers in this way.

All of the mattresses that we and other reputable organic mattress sellers (such as Abaca, in South Wales) offer have been independently accredited by the Soil Association and GOTS as being organic and do not contain any added chemical fire retardants, at all.

To have products tested by these organisations does cost more, so will impact on the end price, but since these tests are done (on an ongoing basis) by recognised third parties, completely independently from the maker, you, the consumer, can rest assured that the mattresses are what they say they are and do not feature any added fire retardants to pass UK standards.

At Green Woods Furniture, we have the largest display of certified, truly organic mattresses in the UK, so why not visit our Bristol showroom to find the natural way to a better night's sleep.

(Our full, certified organic mattress range can be also be found online here).

Friday, 1 July 2016

Our new ranges: Summer 2016


The Hairpin range

A brief history of hairpins

The ‘hairpin’ leg was invented by Henry P Glass in 1941 as a stylish solution to the need for sturdy furniture legs made with minimal materials. Glass moved from his home country, Austria, which had been taken over by Nazi Germany in 1939, to New York. It was Russel Wright who invited Glass to design a line of wrought iron furniture and the ‘hairpin’ leg was born. It was created out of necessity for limited materials, superior strength and simplicity and remains a modern classic design.

Henry P. Glass, creator of hairpin legs in 1941

At Green Woods Furniture, we combine rustic reclaimed timber tops with beautifully made hairpin legs to make this perfectly matched industrial style 'hairpin' dining table. The wood is stained with Van Dyke Crystals which is a natural water-based wood dye made from walnut husks and then finished with a wax to protect the wood. This table is also available in a planed back ‘clean’ finish and in a range of different sizes as well as a bespoke made-to-measure option. Please contact us for more information.

4ft x 3ft 'hairpin' reclaimed dining table (£345) with 'hairpin' chair (£245)

Our 'hairpin chair' maker, Conan Sturdy is a skilled blacksmith who works from his solar powered workshop in London. Some of his past work includes a 10 man bicycle powered pub on wheels, and a 1 tonne hanging birdcage for Spitalfields market.

Above:  Conan Sturdy in his workshop. Below:  industrial 'hairpin' chair

The Pelham Range

We also have a new range in our oak furniture selection, the ‘Pelham’ range. It is handmade by a family firm in Hertfordshire with beautiful American white oak which is sustainable and comes from well managed forests in the Northern Appalachian region. This particular species takes approximately 30 years to reach maturity, compared to an English Oak tree which takes about 80 years. It has a beautiful wide and interesting grain pattern which adds individual character to the furniture.

All drawers and doors are individually fitted to each carcass for a perfect fit. Each drawer benefits from the traditional, and still best, method of dovetail jointing providing maximum strength and stability to create strong and sturdy furniture that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Left: Pelham console table (from £845). Top right: Pelham range furniture. Bottom right: Pelham dining table (from £650)

Green Woods Furniture
116 Coldharbour Road, Bristol, BS6 7SL
0117 942 87 32

Thursday, 2 June 2016

E-commerce? More like ECO-Commerce!

E-commerce? More like ECO-commerce!

We are pleased to reveal our newly designed website for Green Woods Furniture! 

Feel free to take a peek! We have been working hard to create a new e-commerce version of our shop in Bristol with our full range of sustainably sourced furniture made to order and to measure in the UK. For the first time we have all our products available to buy online, with information on sizes, specifications, options on finishes and much more.

Don’t forget to take a look at our Accessories page which shows some ‘one off’ items made locally and all over the UK, as well as the full range of AURO eco-friendly paints and finishes. 

The website has also been designed for people on the go, so can be viewed on your smart phone and tablet too. We now accept PayPal payments as well as credit (sorry, not AMEX) and debit cards online.

Our new website can be found at, please take a look and let us know what you think by clicking here - we’re quite proud of it, but we know there’s still work to do. In the coming months, we'll continue improving the site so that it best serves how we communicate with you.  

But don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere so if you prefer to come and visit us, we’re still at:
116 Coldharbour Road, Bristol. BS6 7SL 
and we’re open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.00am – 5.00pm.

Any questions? Call us on 0117 942 87 32 or email us

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Looking for a new mattress?

Why choose organic?

The average person spends 8 hours a day in bed. That’s 240 hours a month and 2920 hours a year! We spend a third of our time in our beds but sometimes forget how important our mattresses are.

Most mainstream mattresses use non-natural materials such as polyester fibre, polyurethane foam and visco-elastic foam (also known as memory foam). This means they have to use fire retardants in order to pass UK legal standards. Many of the chemicals that go into these treatments, such as PBDEs have been banned in other countries because of the detrimental effects they have on our health.  A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley also revealed that both in utero and childhood PBDE exposures were associated with neurodevelopmental delays, including decreased attention, fine motor coordination, and cognition in school-age children. (Environmental Health Perspectives November 15, 2012)  The manufacturing of these chemicals also has a huge impact on the environment as they are regularly being released into the atmosphere and our eco-system.

Organic mattresses do not need to use these fire retardant chemical treatments. Because of the materials used (natural latex, organic wool, hessian, horse hair, organic cotton, & pocketed springs) they are naturally fire retardant therefore no chemicals are needed. At every stage of the process there is organic certification from the Soil Association, from washing the wool to the hand sewn tufts.

What's so good about wool?

The wool content in the mattresses works to get your body to a comfortable sleeping temperature quicker, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer because of its natural moisture-wicking properties. The average sleeper gives off nearly a pint of water vapour in an 8-hour sleep period, and wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight without feeling damp or clammy so it’s resistant to mould and mildew too. Even better, it discourages dust mites, who need moisture to survive and prefer down, feather or synthetic materials.

Latex versus pocket sprung mattresses

We recommend everyone to try the mattress before they buy.
Here are some top tips to making sure you get the mattress best suited to you:
  • Try and lie on the mattress for at least 10 minutes in order to get the best feel for it that you can.
  • Place your hand under the small of your back. If it goes under very easily, it’s likely the mattress is too soft. If you can’t get it under then it’s too firm.
  • Try all the different tensions, ‘firm’ mattresses are not the same ‘firmness’ for every maker.
  • Try different types of pillows (we have wool, kapok, latex, millet and spelt here in our shop).

See our range of organic mattresses online here

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Ashton Painted bedside

We can paint any piece of furniture with AURO Natural Paints, which are made using natural raw materials and produced using a sustainable ecological cycle.

If you haven't used them before, please read on...

What's in synthetic paints?
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs for short. Those VOCs are given out while painting - and for up to five years after your brushes have dried. 

A few things you can expect to find:

How does this affect our health and the environment?

  • Professional decorators are 40% more likely to contract lung cancer due to breathing the paint fumes every day.
  • After decorating, the paints on our walls will 'off gas' for up to 5 years.
  • Production of 1 litre of synthetic paint can cause up to 30 litres of waste.

Be aware...
  • According to, many of the 'non-toxic' paints from conventional companies "still contain VOC solvents, chemical pigments and fungicides". 
  • Equally confusingly, the move towards low-VOC, water-based gloss paints is also controversial, as it means manufacturers have to add even more ingredients, using a more intensive production process than before.
  • Some also contain animal products....
  • ...and some contain titanium dioxide as a whitener, which is a big contributor to environmental problems.

Things you can expect to find in AURO products:

We are proud to use and stock AURO products.

"AURO natural paints, decorating and finishing products are good for you and good for the environment. We stand out amongst manufacturers of natural and eco paints and wood finishes because we have always been totally committed and uncompromising in our environmental standards. Our products contain 99% natural raw materials. It goes almost without saying that we do not use petrochemicals in our products. We also ensure that natural raw materials come from environmentally managed sources and are produced in a sustainable ecological cycle. Much of the linseed oil used in our paints is grown close to the factory and is certified as organic, any waste product and excess paint can be composted. We are happy to fully declare all our ingredients, these can be found in our technical data sheets for each product downloadable from this site.
AURO breathable paints are based on organic linseed oil resins, plant and mineral pigments for colour and chalks for fillers. AURO wood finishes are micro-porous so they don’t flake, peel or blister and are easily maintained. These breathable materials are perfectly suited to Conservation and eco homes and they are especially well suited to like passivhaus buildings. They can also be used on top of previously painted walls, so anything goes really, from New Build and Victorian Terrace to Straw Bale. The use of natural and plant based ingredients means that allergy and asthma sufferers and people who are chemically sensitive are much more able to tolerate our products.
Please see a detailed response for allergy sufferers in the FAQ's. Our eco paints and wood oils are perfect to use on children's toys and cots and have EU EN DIN 71 part 3 (toy safety) accreditation." (
Any questions? 
Please don't hesitate to contact us at 
or phone us on 0117 942 87 32.