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How Goldfinger is reshaping the way we think about design

Forever championing human creativity

‘Our goal is to make sustainable design a common practice in the UK,’ states Carl Blücher, Head of Creative and Product at London-based furniture brand and social enterprise Goldfinger. 

Standing in the company's West London workshop below its office in the iconic Trellick Tower, Blücher is surrounded by salvaged wood, machinery and a handful of skilled workers, who are putting the finishing touches to some large communal tables commissioned by Thomas Heatherwick. The pieces, which are destined for Heatherwick's new headquarters in Kings Cross, are being made using wood donated by TATE. Instead of discarding valuable material, knots in the wood are carefully filled with resin and assembled into seven-metre-long tables. 

This resourceful approach is part of what makes Goldfinger unique in the design industry. Founded in 2013 by Marie Cudennec Carlisle and Oliver Waddington-Ball in London's iconic Trellick Tower (the business was named after the Brutalist building's architect, Ernö Goldfinger), the organisation was set up to create beautifully crafted objects while supporting the local economy in Golborne Ward, one of the city’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

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Marie Cudennec, Goldfinger CEO and co-founder

After experimenting with different materials, the company opted to focus on wood, which it sources locally using environmentally friendly methods. Dubbed ‘Treecycling’, this modus operandi has become a trademark of the brand. “Did you know that 5000 trees fall every year in London alone, and that most of them are burned for biofuel?” muses Blücher. Every day, trees get diseases, are uprooted by storms or are removed due to urban development. Goldfinger works with local authorities, associations, businesses and private landowners so they get notified when new material becomes available. It created an entire collection for Selfridges sourcing wood that would have otherwise been discarded, marking each piece with the coordinates of the birthplace of the raw material to emphasise its history and provenance.

In 2018, Harvey Nichols donated the trees from its Christmas windows, which were used to update parts of Goldfinger’s offices, while the Design Museum’s floorboards were turned into Peshawar side tables.

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Not only is Goldfinger committed to treading lightly on the planet, but it also gives back to its local community, providing traineeships, craft workshops and school programmes created in partnership with Hermès. The Goldfinger Academy was founded to support marginalised young people, by teaching them the art of woodworking through an apprenticeship programme. Low-income workers can also learn valuable skills to up their employability, as well as a sense of self-worth. ‘We want to grow our business while giving back to the people around us, and education can play a major role in uplifting the economy of an entire neighbourhood,’ explains Blücher.

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In 2015, Goldfinger also started offering free monthly meals to North Kensington residents, “no questions asked”, using dishes cooked from surplus ingredients. During the pandemic, they quickly transformed the venture to provide hand-delivered meals - and a much-needed human presence - to vulnerable and isolated locals.

While Goldfinger is constantly looking to maximise its social impact and minimise its carbon footprint, its furniture is designed to be admired for its aesthetic and stylistic qualities, rather than its sustainability credentials. ‘We want to make timeless pieces, not shabby chic furniture bragging about the way it was made,’ concludes Blücher. ‘Sustainability should not be a trend, but an inherent component of how we think about design.’

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With craft and community at the forefront of our business, Curio continues to seek out and celebrate makers such as Goldfinger whose products are beautiful, functional and responsible in equal measure. Learn more about Goldfinger alongside other brands that are using craft to bring about positive change at

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