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After testing and falling in love with Fable’s core product line of dinnerware, glassware, stemware and flatware, I was keen to learn more about the process that the Canadian company uses to create its homeware. I love the quality, elegance and durability of the collection, not to mention the fair pricing based on the artisanship of each unique piece.
I reached out to Joe Parenteau, co-founder and CEO of Fable and one of BC Business’s Top 30 under 30, to discuss the creation of the brand, responsible design, the production process and its environmental impact and what’s next for the brand.
Q: What led you to start a homeware brand?
A: Together with Max Tims and Tina Luu, I founded Fable as a solution to a personal problem. When wanting to upgrade to more premium home decor and tableware, I couldn’t find anything that was ethically and sustainably produced, accessibly priced and offered a simplified shopping experience. We saw an opportunity and set out to fill the gap.
Q: Why should our readers choose Fable?
A: Fable is a Certified B Corporation with a simple goal: to make our customers’ lives easier by simplifying the process of shopping consciously for their homes. We do this by designing tableware that is timeless, durable and beautiful. Then, we partner with artisans and craftspeople around the world to sustainably bring those designs to life. Finally, we make it accessible through our omnichannel business model with transparent pricing.
- Responsible design – Designed with integrity and durably crafted for everyday use.
- Sustainable sourcing – We only partner with makers who put the Earth, and its people, first.
- Transparent pricing – We believe in accessible pricing and full transparency. Our pricing model is an open book.
- Giving back – Thanks to Mealshare and Magic Breakfast, every bundle purchased from Fable donates meals to children and youth in need.
Our pieces are completely non-toxic and lead-free. Our eco-friendly packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and plastic-free, and our bio-film cushions and packing peanuts are 100 per cent biodegradable. We also offer a 100-day money-back guarantee on all Fable purchases and pride ourselves on having excellent customer service.
Q: We love that you’re a Canadian company creating quality pieces, mindfully. Is there any part of the production process that takes place in Canada? What made you choose to create your dinnerware internationally?
A: All of our collections are designed in Vancouver. We find joy in the origins of regional craft, diverse landscapes and the stories they hold close. For each collection we design, we seek out skilled makers around the world that have been honing their craft for decades, in some cases even centuries.
Our ceramics are crafted in Central Portugal and our flatware in Northern Portugal, both by family-owned and operated partner companies. Our glassware is crafted in Japan by a company with glassmaking roots that stretch back more than 120 years, while our stemware is crafted in Germany by a company that’s been in business for five centuries.
As we expand our range to include new materials and textures, we continue to seek out and partner with makers whose commitment to high-quality craftsmanship, sustainability and ethical practices aligns with our own.
Q: Could you tell us a bit more about responsible design and the sustainable practices you use?
A: Our products are built to last, meant to be used every day and are products you can feel good about having in your home. We partner with makers that operate sustainably, ethically and transparently.
During the production of our dinnerware, nothing goes to waste. As our ceramics are made, all excess clay clippings, broken plates and water used during production are recycled and reused. Once the water used during production has been recycled multiple times and becomes too saturated with clay particles, it’s reused as fertilizer in local farmers’ fields. During the day, our ceramics facility is 100 per cent solar-powered.
As our glassware is made, approximately half of the materials used come from in-house recycled glass cullet (broken or waste glass). The Japanese facility that produces our glassware received a Management System Certificate for Environmental Management in 2005, and currently working to reduce CO2 emissions by 14 per cent, while also working to reduce material input by three per cent. In addition, they are continually working to reduce energy, resource consumption and waste.
At Fable, we are working towards our aim of ensuring that all of our makers eventually have zero-waste facilities.
Q: Could you tell us more about your participation in the Mealshare program?
A: Our vision has always been to bring joy to every meal, and that includes meals for those less fortunate than us. For every bundle purchased in North America, a meal is donated to a youth in need through our partnership with MealShare.
Since we launched in the U.K. this past year, we’ve also been working with Magic Breakfast to provide two healthy breakfasts to school children in disadvantaged areas for every bundle purchased.
Q: I see you have an extensive environmental impact report. Could you summarize a couple of key points?
A: From day one, our goal has been to balance profit and purpose. We’re committed to becoming a zero-waste company, and only partner with makers who put the Earth — and its people — first. Securing our Certified B Corporation status this past year is a stamp of approval that we’re on the right path, and proudly part of a global cultural shift toward building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
We’re proudly carbon neutral, which means that Fable’s total carbon emissions are offset by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world. We’re actively working to minimize our carbon intensity by reducing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions that occur when shipping products from our global suppliers to our Canadian distribution center.
Q: What’s next for Fable?
A: At Fable, we carved our niche with beautiful tableware, but we see a lot of opportunity beyond the dining table. We’re on a path to branch out to other areas of the home, creating decor that is as enjoyable as it is ethical. We’re launching a handful of exciting new products this year that we can’t wait to share with you. Keep an eye out!
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Check out what’s in store at Fable.com.