Ecological wooden products from nature
Inspired by the wonderful nature in Finland – the thousands of lakes, the forests that seem to have no end, the unique tranquility – EcoFurn combines decades of experience in wood handicraft with fresh Scandinavian design. As a result we have created products that are easy on the eye, but also sustainable and climate friendly.
I come from a little village in the middle of Finland – I grew up surrounded by forests, lakes and – all things made of wood. As I worked in the advertising industry during the millennium and searched for a producer to furnish public spaces, I was fascinated by the small but unbelievably talented craftsmanship in wooden furniture. My dream was to turn this ancient craftsmanship and Nordic wood into design that would be reachable to all people and bring the Finnish and Estonian legacy of wood to be known all over the world.
With two friends of mine I started to tinker different wooden items, experimenting with doors, stairs, windows… Our first sellable products were wooden cutting boards and terrace deck modules. As we cut the wood, thin wooden bars were left as leftovers. We used to burn the leftovers for heating, but pretty soon we started to produce wooden chairs from those leftover bars. This is how EcoChair got invented. The name EcoChair was self-evident –leftovers were turned into something useful. EcoChair was the cornerstone of our production from the very beginning – and still is.
After years of trial and error, some setbacks, a bit of luck, EcoFurn was founded in 2009. Nowadays we have over 20 different wooden products in various wood types and colours. In addition to our own EcoFurn products, we produce our customers’ own wooden repertoires. We have grown from a tiny carpenter shop to an international enterprise, which employs 50 people in Finland and in Estonia. Our products are available in over 40 countries all over the world. – Hannu Lehtonen, co-founder
EcoFurn® products are made from solid wood of Nordic Origin only. No raw materials from fragile rain forests are used. We only buy wood from managed forests and from sources that either have FSC certificate or can specify the location of the wood material delivered to us. Besides the Nordic wood, we use hemp rope and for some items, metallic fasteners. The products are preferably delivered in flat packs in order to avoid excessive packing material and freight space. The packing material we use is always recyclable, unless there are special circumstances (e.g. freight rules and regulations) that force us to change our usual ways.
In addition to our own product development, we use professional designers. The basis of all our designing is ecology, sustainability and recyclability. If a new product does not fulfil those standards, we do not start the production. We are inspired by the wonderfully fresh nature in Finland – the thousands of lakes, the forests that seem to have no end, the unique tranquility. All that creates a magical atmosphere for new ideas. The changing seasons also provide a natural testlab for our products.
From the beginning this ecological thinking and respect for nature has been the very core of our production. The products are 100 % recyclable and there will not be any waste left to ruin the nature. Recently, we invested a lot in expanding and thoroughly updating our factory. With top level process techniques and infrastructure, we now have environmentally friendly production facilities.
We also refine all our production leftovers at our factory. Our production process uses all the wood beneficially: it turns the residues to briquets, even the sawdust to pellets, which both can be used for heating.
We stand strongly for returning from plastic to wood. It is our mission to manufacture wooden products so good that the consumers prefer them also for their other qualities, not the ecology alone. Climate conscious choices are often practical, as well. We encourage consumers to favor sustainability.
Climate change, plastic pollution, chemicalisation of the environment and the sufficiency and cleanliness of food are the biggest environmental challenges of our times. We do not want to increase those problems by our actions. We want to be a part of the solution.
Plastic is durable, cheap and versatile – and LETHAL. Fossil fuels as raw material for plastic products play a major role in increasing the climate change. Plastic is hiding everywhere – in cosmetics, textiles, building materials and even our food. To substitute plastic with more sustainable materials, we need political and legal guidance, but we can start with simple everyday choices made by companies and individuals. It is our choice, yours and mine!