Our St Albans store has gained an amazing mural – and it’s all for a very important cause...

The St Albans Sustainability Festival is a three-week celebration of sustainable ideas, with events taking place across the St Albans and Harpenden areas – and Raft’s local team were delighted to take part.

We invited the superb artist Perla Mignanelli to decorate our store’s windows with a homage to Hokusai’s iconic print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.

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As you can see from these photos (and even more so if you pop down to the store), Perla has done an incredible job with the design, which stretches across six large windows.

And there’s more to it than might at first meet the eye. Floating amid the waves are plastic bottles and wrappers – and passers-by are invited to stick their own plastic items to the mural as a reminder of the impact single-use plastic is having on our oceans.

That sustainability message is close to our hearts at Raft. Our business is based on recycling teak – but we also keep plastic packaging to a bare minimum by using box cardboard instead, we’ve removed single-use plastics from the shop floor and we aspire to be plastic free by 2021.

So of course there’s a message in Perla’s work – but why shouldn’t sustainable be beautiful too?

Shona Lockhart’s recycled mosaic birds

And talking of sustainable and beautiful, throughout the Sustainability Festival our St Alban’s store will be selling handmade mosaic birds by artist Shona Lockhart, as part of the Blue Dot Trail.  

Shona’s gorgeous artworks use recycled household tiles and china to create the mosaic pieces – again, an approach very much after our hearts. Her mosaics are also aligned with RAFT’s Japanese theme for Sustfest.

And like Perla, Shona’s work has a Japanese influence. She says: “My work is reminiscent of the Japanese art of Kintsugi in which broken ceramics are repaired with a gold seam to create something more beautiful.” (Reminds us of the related Japanese concept of beautiful recycling Mottainai - see our blog here).

RAFT is a brand that's committed to being as green as possible. You can follow RAFT’s involvement in SustFest on social media with the hashtag #SustFest19.

And browse our beautiful reclaimed teak furniture here.