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Savoir co-founder reflects on a decade of design

From launching the world’s first luxury vegan bed to introducing design collaborations, the last decade has certainly been noteworthy for Savoir. Alistair Hughes, the co-founder of Savoir reflects on what inspired the collaborations, the road to sustainability and what the future of bespoke holds.
Savoir craftsman signing a mattress

We have always offered bespoke beds and encouraged our clients to design their own beds. However, whilst the idea of having something made for you was common back in 1905 when there was more local production making for local communities, the prospect became much less popular in the modern age. We’re so used to having choices, more than ever before there are almost too many options, right there on the shelf, ready to purchase. But what this approach lacks, is the ability to specify exactly what we want. From design to comfort and everything in between. And that’s what makes a bespoke bed a truly luxurious product.

Price is very often viewed as the definition of luxury, but really, it is nothing to do with it. Luxury is founded on the quality of materials and service. The passion and skills of the maker. The understanding and appreciation of the consumer, and the comfort it provides them with. The very idea that this is made just for me and not everyone. And of course, a sprinkle of magic. For us, that’s our incredible heritage of being created to provide a great night’s sleep for the most demanding guests in the world at London’s Savoy Hotel.

The luxury of bespoke

The Louis Design by Francis Sultana

Savoir’s latest collaboration, the Louis bed designed by Francis Sultana

I think that from two perspectives Savoir is fabulously positioned to succeed in the modern world. Firstly, people’s understanding of the impact sleep has on their well-being has become more prominent over recent years, moving it up on their priority list. There is plenty of science-proven evidence that shows how natural materials can transform the quality of your sleep and health. And those materials are often only available in luxury bespoke products.

Secondly, there is a great re-emergence of bespoke in a world of too many choices that make very little difference. Clients see bespoke design as an important differentiator. It’s something that allows them to make their own, personal mark. And that gives them the confidence to invest in a bespoke product.

This is what inspired the idea of collaborations. We wanted to show what could be done and give our clients the ideas that’ll inspire them to create their own, uniquely bespoke beds. When we first decided to embark on finding the creatives to collaborate with, we thought it would be a struggle to find designers who wanted to give it a go. But actually, it has snowballed, and designers now approach us most of the time wanting to do a collaboration. This is great, but sadly we can only realistically handle so many!

Sustainability and craft

The 360 Bed

The Three Sixty bed showcases the limitless possibilities of bespoke design

The modern ‘throw-away’ society is the antithesis of what craftsmanship allows. Carefully handcrafted products stand the test of time and get better with age. If you buy once and love and nurture the product, you’ll be able to keep it for a very long time. Putting in more effort is almost always worth it. If we just slow down a little, we can enjoy so much of what we have. It applies to appreciating all the things in life – from food and health to nature and the environment. This certainly helps my well-being and drives my passions beyond Savoir.

Creating the world’s first luxury vegan bed was a huge step towards a sustainable future for Savoir. But there’s still plenty to be done. The route to sustainability is a long road of unlearning and rethinking the ways in which we live and work. We have a naturally sustainable product, which works in the circular economy, but there are of course certain elements where we aren’t where we want to be. Packaging is something that’s been a great priority for me. Finding sustainable alternatives to plastic that’ll allow us to ensure our beds arrive safely in the same condition as they left our Bedworks is very important. So currently our focus is shifting towards finding reusable packaging that can help us minimise waste.

The future of Savoir

Savoir craftsman

Savoir craftsman at our London Bedworks

Our goal has always been simple – to be the number one luxury bedmaker. We’re currently in some of the key cities around the world, but there are more places we’d love to open Savoir showrooms. Adapting bespoke to the modern world of fast accessibility is of course a challenge, but we want to find ways to expand our reach. A physical store and a range of accessible accessories are also what we’re hoping to work on, that’s something that’d allow us to build a larger team of skilled craftsmen and women that really are the backbone of the company.

Alistair Hughes

Sleep Expert, Dr Rebecca Robbins shares her curated bedtime routine

Sleeping on a Savoir

We all know that we should aim for between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, something science tells us is optimum for most adults. But while duration is one aspect, Sleep Expert Dr Rebecca Robbins says focusing on our bedtime routine is as important, and often more productive. We speak to Dr Robbins about her own night-time routine, why it’s so important, and the critical role it plays in ensuring she gets a good night’s rest.