Stories, Sustainability

A Circular Ethos Reflected in Interior Design at The Fox

12th May 2023

Our Head of Sustainability, talks us through one of the most exciting projects from our build at The Fox.

At The Fox we often discuss the importance of provenance. While this is usually a conversation about the ingredients that make up our seasonal menus, sustainable sourcing has relevance across the business from the amenities in our rooms to the materials we use in the buildings themselves. Our Head of Sustainability, Will Dennis, talks us through one of the most exciting circular projects from our build.

During the original restoration of the The Fox we used sheep’s wool from our sister farm, Daylesford Organic, to insulate the walls and roof. Repurposing this natural fibre from just a mile away made so much sense that we decided to investigate additional ways to work with the farm and repurpose their valuable by-products. One of these precious materials is leather.

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One of these precious materials is leather.

Although leather is a by-product of the meat industry, its popularity supports a vast global supply chain backed by destructive industrial cattle farming. Most leather is bought from third party abattoirs or tanneries, making it very difficult to establish where it originated, and even harder to establish the animal welfare standards at the source farm. Working with Daylesford gave us full traceability of the supply chain, starting from the fields almost visible from The Fox’s windows where the animals are reared on organic pasture to the UK’s highest welfare standards.

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Hides from the beef herd are recovered from Daylesford’s own organic abattoir, where they are then sent for tanning. This is usually the most harmful stage of the process, in which toxic chemicals and heavy metals such as chromium are used to soften and treat the leather. We worked closely with a tannery in Bristol that specialises in chrome-free, vegetable tanning to create locally produced and processed leather without any chemicals from start to finish.

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To design the final product we worked with an independent studio in London, crafting the leather to sit comfortably in a cosy pub environment while retaining the material’s natural character. The Fox now proudly displays a range of upholstery made using regeneratively farmed, chemical-free leather. This circular story is the perfect complement to our menu’s local ingredients grown alongside it.

Find out more about our restoration here.

Our latest seasonal menus are available here.

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Built by William Warde-Fowler in 1879, Fowler’s boasts uninterrupted views across farmland. A fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford and an avid bird watcher and walker, Warde-Fowler designed his home to replicate an Oxford townhouse, with a sweeping rear terrace ideal for enjoying long afternoons watching the surrounding wildlife.

The new cottages are available from 1st April, prices start from £5500 for Old House, for a minimum four-night stay, and £7000 for Fowler’s House, for a minimum 5 night stay. Click here for availability.

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