Good Company: Model No. Locally Made and Recycled Furniture

The brand recently launched the Platform series, which includes a coffee table, chair, ottoman and sofa.

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There are durable furniture brands, and then there are Model numbera company founded in Oakland in 2018 that brings non-toxic products to wellness-focused homes.

In recent years, the company has produced custom 3D-printed furniture from recycled food waste. Model No. “believes in the future of technology to automate traditional industries,” says company CEO Phillip Raub, who joined the company in 2020, adding that co-founders Jeffrey McGrew and Jillian Northrup asked, “‘How can we change this industry?'”

Model Co. uses locally sourced materials, like plant-based resins from unused food crops, at their made-to-order Oakland factor. It also has smaller factories across the country, which manufacture furniture products locally. The goal is to eliminate order wait times due to recent supply chain disruptions and clogged ports.

Raub saw an opportunity to move the business forward, beyond its 3D reputation. Over the past year, he has led change within the company, from chairs to sofas, all with a focus on sustainability, locally made products and turning recycled plants into furniture.

“The ethos of our organization and a common thread in everything we do is to be as efficient and sustainable as possible,” says Raub. “We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint.”

ARTICLE

The brand recently launched the Platform series, which includes a coffee table, chair, ottoman and sofa. The sofa is made of a vegetable resin from agricultural waste (corn husks, cassava, sugar beet) associated with certified and sustainable hardwoods.

The brand wanted to create an eco-friendly sofa with no off-gassing products in its production. The pieces are made from locally sourced natural wood, while the cushions are made only from latex, rubber trees and feathers. “We start with 100% wool,” says Raub. “We wanted to start with a 100% natural product on the market.”

The company produced custom 3D-printed furniture from recycled food waste.

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THE PRICE

Coffee tables range from US$720 to US$1,630, while side tables range from US$350 to US$520. Chairs and lounges cost between 1,500 and 2,080 US dollars. Platform series sofas range from US$7,000 to US$20,000.

The company uses 100% recycled materials for its products and packaging. “We don’t use recycled plastics in our products, not even plastic from the oceans,” says Raub. “We always make sure that there is a conscience behind all of this.”

“Because we’re a venture capital backed company, we don’t have to make big margins, we believe that will cover time with greater efficiency,” he adds. “It is difficult to make good quality products from natural materials that are economically reasonable these days.”

WHAT IS THE GOOD?

Model No.’s agricultural waste comes from a company called Nature Works LLC, which takes beet-heavy vegetables (“which animals can’t even digest because they’re too coarse,” Raub says), and transforms into a non-petroleum-based plastic pellet.

Pellets are shipped to the company raw from places like Iowa and Indiana and can be ordered in different colors. “You can create by mixing sawdust together, it gives a more natural texture,” he says. “These pellets go through an extruder, like pressing cake icing, which goes through a computer-generated design based on the coordinates in the software. That’s how you get interesting shapes and sizes for the product.”

The brand also uses Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, certified wood for products, and they also work with small trusses, including cherry wood for outdoor furniture and walnut for indoor tables in the framework of the Platform series, which are all local. coming from.

In each of its micro-factories, the brand uses state-of-the-art technologies to minimize toxic by-products and harmful materials used in the production of traditional furniture. For example, mass-produced furniture uses wood fibers instead of wood, and many upholstered cushions are loaded with toxic materials.

“Most people don’t realize that they don’t have solid wood in most furniture,” Raub says. “We’re starting to see plant-based things, but it’s not that often in furniture, it’s still mostly plastic.”

Coffee tables range from US$720 to US$1,630.

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AND AFTER

Looking to the future, the brand plans to get into lighting design. He’s also opening a pop-up showroom in Berkeley, California this year. They are looking to expand to various retail showrooms.

Model No. also seeks to reduce its environmental impact by establishing micro-factories across the country to produce and finish furniture within 60 miles of their shipping location.

“The plan is to make sure we make furniture as close to the consumer as possible,” says Raub. “By filling and manufacturing a product close to the source, it eliminates distribution centers. Micro-factories are going to be the future of not just furniture, but manufacturing in general. This will reduce delays and create greater efficiency.

About Cassondra Durden

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