Deckle & Chop – a play on the corrugated cardboard term – is the new business venture set up by the Corrugated Case Company in Danesmoor, Clay Cross.
The company which has been designing and manufacturing cardboard boxes for over 20 years, launched the sideline enterprise, which focuses on making eco-friendly children’s toys and home furnishings in June 2020, from its Chesterfield base during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Director of the Corrugated Case Company Tony Hession always had a desire to make products out of cardboard, as opposed to just packaging products and came up with the idea to run Deckle & Chop alongside the preexisting business.
Structural designer Lizzy Barker was forced to stay at home with her two sons when schools were closed during the pandemic and she, along with senior designer Martyn Higginbottom and junior designer Katie Galley, were tasked with coming up ways to bring fully-recyclable toys and furnishings to life.
With the help of technical sales manager Melissa Wilcockson, the Deckle & Chop team created eco-friendly children’s playhouses, coffee tables, decor, shelving and even art work in the shape of a woman’s body.
Lizzy said: “It's amazing what you can do with it really and it's sort of grown from there.
"The board that we have been using is pretty tough, the playhouses are pretty big and the board that we've used is strengthened.
"It is not like your typical, flimsy cardboard box if that makes sense but people have had really positive reactions towards it."
The cardboard products, which also feature elements of metal and glass, are available on Etsy and Shopify and are fully reusable if they do not get wet.
Deckle & Chop previously sent children’s playhouses to Hady Primary School in Chesterfield as part of a trial to see how the students rated the eco-friendly toys.
The structural designer added: "We got feedback from them and they were really positive, saying they got lots of enjoyment out of them and some people dismantled them and passed them on to other people.
"My two boys are seven and nine and they are big enough for them to play in and they've loved them when I've taken them home.
"They decorate them and then I get overloaded with them and I bring them back to work and I stick them in the recycle bin, then they are really upset wondering where their plane has gone.
"They are good fun, it really depends how you use them, they could last for ages if you take them down carefully and put them back up.
"Or if you just leave them up, they are really durable.
"You just couldn't leave them out in the rain, if you put them up in the garden and it rained then that would be it probably."
The new business has plans in the future to open up a pop-up shop for clients to see the cardboard tables, toys and home decor in person.
Derbyshire Times readers can get a 15% discount of all Deckle & Chop orders using promotional code: DTIMES15.