Craig Lockwood is obsessed with food and creating exquisite knives for some of the best restaurants in the world. The goal is to create beautiful and highly functional knives with sustainability at heart.
Seven years ago Welsh Craig Lockwood worked as a software developer when he by chance came in contact with knife making.
“Me and my wife used to arrange software conferences but after a while they started to become very much the same. To do something different, we brought the participants out to the woods and gave them the chance to learn how to make a wooden spoon, axe-making etc. I have always been a “maker” and this activity made me lose all interest in computer stuff.”
After doing some research, Lockwood decided he wanted to get into knife making and today that is his fulltime job as the owner of Chop Knives. He mixes traditional processes with cutting edge technologies to create knives that can stand up to the demands of a busy kitchen or restaurant and his handmade knives have been delivered to restaurants such as Michelin-starred Black Swan and L´Enclume in the UK. He also runs the Knife Talk podcast with 50,000 listeners per week.
A responsible maker
Craig Lockwood does not only want to make the best knives on the market, he also wants to make the world’s most sustainable knives.
“As a responsible maker, I have been thinking a lot about how I can make a kitchen knife which has a positive effect on the planet. I follow the supply chain of all materials used and work hard to find suppliers who are leaving as little of an impact as possible.”
Lookwood’s research made him choose Sandvik as his supplier of steel.
“Made from 78 percent recycled steel* in one of the world’s most ecologically sound steel mill, the steel is then cut, shaped and ground by hand in my workshop which is powered by green energy,” he says.
*The specific steel grades used in Chop Knives are Sandvik 14C28N™ and Sandvik 12C27M.
I follow the supply chain of all materials used and work hard to find suppliers who are leaving as little of an impact as possible.
Made out of yoghurt
The sustainability ambitions do not stop with the steel blade. Lockwood also reuses kitchen waste, such as yoghurt pots, meat packing trays or water bottles, to create knife handles.
“The process is simple, get a load of plastic that is destined for landfill, shred it, heat it and then squish it back together.”
“I am aware that as a maker I am part of the problem but I do all I can to make in a responsible way. I am always looking for ways to work in a more sustainable way. The hope is that if we all make these small changes, it will make a big impact”, says Lockwood.
Sandvik steel mill
Sandvik has produced scrap-based steel in Sandviken, Sweden since 1862 and the products contain 82 percent recycled material, on average (2019). An electric arc furnace is used to produce the heats which are casted and then hot rolled. The hot-rolled strips are then transferred into precision strips. The integrated process reduces transport and environmental impact and ensures traceability throughout the process. The electricity used generates a low carbon footprint (hydropower and nuclear) and Sandvik buys Guarantees of Origin for all its European production sites. Together with large customers we develop buyback initiatives. Buying back the scrap straight from the customers minimizes the risk of inclusion of steel of lower quality and significantly reduces the need for virgin material.