Adrian Shaw from Chattels & More talks about sustainability and promoting local talent

Adrian Shaw is the CEO of Chattels & More, owned by Easa Saleh Al Gurg group

Alaa Al Nahlawi received the winning award for the Public category

Chattels & More, the lifestyle and home décor brand in collaboration with Dubai Home Festival (DHF), had unveiled a design contest, placing innovation, creativity, and sustainability at its core. The contest offered home interior aficionados and aspiring designers a unique opportunity to craft their vision of the “&” chair from Chattels & More’s logo emblem. The winner of the contest was awarded a grand prize of an astounding AED 50,000, while the associated prices for runners-up.

The finalists presented their designs at the Chattels and More showroom at Mall of Emirates on 11th of December in front a panel. The judges of the event included luminaries such as Easa Al Gurg, CEO of ESAG Group, Adrian Shaw, CEO of Chattels & More, Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), Mohamed Feras AVP Retail at Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), and Nisrine El Lababidi, Founder & Design Director of Harf Noon Design Studio, who played a pivotal role in selecting the ultimate winners.

The winners were announced as Alaa Al Nahlawi and Hind Khalid Al Suwaidi, in the Public and School categories respectively.

Hind Khalid Al Suwaidi received the award in the Student category.

The winning entries would be granted an exclusive opportunity to witness their designs materialize as a limited-edition series bearing their names, showcased and sold at the Chattels & More showroom at the Mall of Emirates. In line with the brand’s sustainability mission and UAE’s Year of Sustainability, the proceeds from this collection will be directed towards the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment – UAE.

To speak on the success of the event and to know more about the competitions and what it means for the company, we spoke to Adrian Shaw, CEO of Chattels & More.

How did this competition come about? Will it be a regular series?

Adrain Shaw (AS): The competition was inspired by our Chattels & More’s logo, which features a chair. Becoming the most loved furniture brand in the UAE, we aimed to bring our logo to life and engage with the community through a national competition. This initiative was made possible with the support of our group, Easa Saleh Al Gurg, who is committed to supporting local talents and sustainability efforts within our entities. The partnership with DTCM helped elevate the competition’s scale. Owing to its success and the generated excitement, we have all decided to turn it into an annual event, with the next edition planned for 2024.

What was the initial number of entries to the competition – both in the student and public categories?

AS: We launched the competition in August and we have received over 100 submissions from the public. Additionally, students from 6 different schools participated, contributing their designs and ideas to the competition.

What were some of the key things you have seen during the competition, in terms of sustainability, learning, and regional talent?

AS: The competition showcased impressive designs, highlighting a strong awareness of sustainability and design principles in both the student and public categories. The selection process was challenging due to the high quality of entries. Hence we added a focus on marketability and alignment with Chattels & More’s collection throughout our selection process. This ensured that the winning designs would be appealing to customers and fit well within the brand’s portfolio.

What were some of the key materials used for the production of the finalist’s chairs?

AS: The finalists’ chairs were made using a variety of new sustainable materials, including recycled linen, bamboo, jesmonite, date seed, recycled foam and different types of natural woods. The contestants were also very attentive to the production process to ensure we were taking the most sustainable route. These choices reflect a commitment to sustainability in the design and production processes.

What will become of the winning chair?

AS: The winning chairs will be mass-produced by Al Gurg Joinery and will be displayed and sold at Chattels & More’s Mall of Emirates showroom. Profits from the sales will be used to sponsor a project by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change.

How many pieces of the winning design is Chattels and More looking to produce ?

AS: Chattels & More plans to produce 10 pieces of each winning design. This decision not only celebrates the winners but also brings their innovative and sustainable designs to the C&M audience.

How does the competition tie in with the overall sustainable goals of Chattels and More?

AS: The competition aligns with Chattels & More’s commitment to sustainability in several ways. By encouraging sustainable initiatives in our supply chain and focusing on the UAE’s Cop28 principles : production of quality, durable furniture, we aim to reduce the frequency with which customers need to replace their furniture. This approach to sustainability emphasizes longevity and quality, reducing waste and promoting sustainable living.

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