This quote from Lavoisier beautifully sums up our approach to work at Opinel. With deep roots in the Alpine mountains of Savoie, France, we cherish our ties to the natural world. And so, when we set out to make our pocket knives, kitchen knives, and garden tools, we ask ourselves at each step of the way: How can we be the most environmentally responsible company we can be?
Over the years, we’ve honed our approach to sustainability, carefully choosing the partners, materials, and processes with which we work.
The vast majority of our products are made from wood and steel — strong, durable materials meant to stand the test of time. Steel is infinitely recyclable, and doesn’t lose its properties or strength in the process. Beech wood, Opinel’s wood of choice, is both strong and abundant; we’re able to source this wood from certified and responsible companies. As a result, 95 percent of our wood at Opinel comes from ecologically sustainable French farms. We repurpose some of our wood scraps for new products — for instance, our Atelier collection.
We’re also thoughtful about our packaging. We choose cardboard printed with environmentally friendly inks whenever possible, and roughly 50 percent of our sales volume is represented by “package free” products sold in batches of six or 12.
We take great care to waste as little as possible in our manufacturing process. We collect the wood shavings from our handles to heat our workshops and offices, and we carefully monitor air, water, dust, and noise emissions at our factory. We also carefully sort our waste, ensuring that 100 percent of our paper, cardboard, wood, scrap metal, scrap steel, and plastic are recycled or reclaimed.
We’re proud to call France home. Today, 50 percent of our suppliers are located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and 80 percent in France overall — which limits the pollution we generate in our supply chain.
Ultimately, our goal is to make products that last — designed to be passed down from generation to generation. All of our products are guaranteed for life against manufacturing defects. Thanks to the materials we choose, and the care we bring to our manufacturing process, Opinel products last for years — and that is the ultimate expression of our commitment to sustainability.
Here are some products that we've developed specifically to minimize waste in our woodshop.
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