Bert & May Values: A Note On Sustainability

Bert & May Values: A Note On Sustainability

By Zoe Crook

Jan 4, 2022

We’re starting 2022 with the goal of continuing, and building on, our existing eco-friendly practices. Here’s how we’re going to do it…

As an interiors company with roots firmly embedded in reusing and recycling (our business started when our founder, Lee Thornley, began sourcing and using salvaged items while building a boutique hotel in Spain), sustainability has been at the core of Bert & May since day one.

Where it began: Terracotta tiles taken from the ceiling of a derelict building and reused in the beautiful Casa La Siesta

We’re all about handmade products that are built to last, we hate waste, and we are passionate about reclaiming old materials to be used in new settings. But we’re always striving to improve, and that’s why we’ve been working on ways to boost our eco-friendly business practices further.

To enable us to continue what we started, we still regularly salvage antique tiles  and have a team in Spain who are always on the lookout for beautiful finds. These tiles have usually been in the buildings we find them in for over 100 years, we just clean them up and give them a new lease of life. It’s the very definition of recycling: converting waste into new usable material, and something that will forever remain at the heart of our business.

Before and After: Our reclaimed tiles have often existed for a hundred years and we're passionate about giving them a new lease of life so they can live on for a hundred more! Gorgeous project by Kilmartin Castle

We’re striving to store as many tiles as we can in the UK. Stocking tiles here means we can dramatically reduce our use of lorries and shipments - shipping in bulk means the mileage per tile is a lot less than it would be if we shipped each lot individually - and so we’re moving towards making it happen as much as possible. We’ll always make to order where necessary, however we’ll be aiming to keep a wide range of our popular plain and patterned tiles, as well as glazed, marble and terrazzo, in our York warehouse. This is a sustainable solution that we are really excited about.  Samples from all our collections - are delivered in cardboard packaging, and we’ll always avoid any plastic where we can. 

The journey of a handmade tile: read about our making process. 

Keep an eye out for our latest sustainable solution where we take broken tiles and cut them down into a super versatile 10cm x 10cm square so they can be used in their own right. It’s a great way to repurpose an item that may otherwise have gone to waste, and of course reduces the need to produce something new.

If you have any questions about our sustainability mission, or are looking for something particular for your project please do not hesitate to get in touch with 

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