Circular Economy in Furniture: Examples of how to create using sustainable materials, less waste, transform, and re-use.
Photo by Bryce Barry.
Many of you know our brand and furniture already. But go behind the scenes and you'll find a lesser known part of our business not often communicated. For eight years now, the Autonomous Furniture crew have honed our social and environmental practices to better strengthen our neighborhood contributions and decrease our impact on the environment.
Our furniture’s origins are rooted by the forests of beautiful British Columbia, we take great care in nurturing the environment in all aspects of our furniture design and manufacturing. First, we source as close to home as possible, starting on Vancouver Island, and expanding to Pacific Northwest with an eye for local distribution. We research and vet all wood suppliers for sustainable forest management and best practices.
Only natural oil and wax finishes are used on Autonomous pieces, comprised of renewable raw materials, ensuring its safe for humans, animals, and plants, and healthier for our craftsmen applying it.
Our sheet goods, such as acrylic and matte black composite material (made of 65% recycled paper) are optimized to ensure almost zero waste. An extensive recycling and waste program within our shop results in as little as one garbage bag per week. Our ‘Material Bank’ program offers Interior Designers free wood for use in mood boards.
Shop photos by Bright Photography.
Circular Economy for Furniture
At Autonomous, we strive to design and manufacture furniture to benefit the circular economy. Our natural materials and finishes, limited use of adhesives, as well as furniture designed for easy repair, and the potential to return to us to reform a furniture piece to another. Our packaging materials are collected from large manufacturers that would otherwise be discarded and are upcycled for local deliveries before being used to ship to other cities.
The goal is to pass Autonomous Furniture pieces down through generations, rather than discarding to a landfill, with an ability to maintain its pristine condition.
Coming Soon ... Autonomous Furniture Registry
Part of what we offer in our furniture is bespoke customization, and the ability to re-purpose and re-use. Consumers are moving away from consumption of standardized mass produced products. All our designs can be tailored, this is what we call customized. The goal is for the piece to fit perfectly into your lives eliminating the desire for change. However if change is needed, we have also designed the pieces to re-purpose. As an example, turning an acrylic console into a bench, easily changing the colour, or refreshing the piece before moving to another family member. And re-use - we are working on a registry program for all our clients. Because situations change, and we want your piece to go to someone else to enjoy for years to come. Soon, our clients will have the opportunity to sell their pieces on our Autonomous Furniture Registry site. Certain pieces such as our Freeman bench, are very difficult to make and time consuming. There is often a waiting list for such pieces. Someone else might be the perfect recipient.
In the end, we pledge to put as much of our revenue back into the local economy as possible. Wood purchases from a local family-owned sawmill, our street person window cleaner, or the local roaster supplying us with copious amounts of coffee on a daily basis.