Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This anniversary is now widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people each year as a day of action to shift human behavior and create policy change.

If you’ve been following this newsletter for a while, you know that social and environmental responsibility is at the core of everything we do. Our recent B Corp certification is one way we have formalized this commitment. We have talked a lot in the past about the materials we use from FSC and reclaimed wood to climate negative regenerative cork, but there is actually a process we have been utilizing from the start that will probably have an even larger impact over the life of our business - our made-to-order production.

Our made-to-order approach was born out of necessity when we had no confidence in our sales and nothing to invest in large production runs. Over time, the results of this process have been a welcome extension of our ethos. It allows us to eliminate a tremendous amount of waste by never producing more than we need to. At the end of the day, we know that everything we make has a home to go to.

We also know that we never have excess work building up in our studio space that would require annual sales to move through. This cycle of over production leading to discounted sales and, eventually, a ton of waste is the norm in so many industries. We finished Aja Barber’s Consumed this month - a good read if you are curious about how this process affects the fashion industry.

Our made-to-order process does mean that you have to wait a bit longer for your work to arrive, but that is often the case these days even with the largest manufacturers. For us, we see benefits to our clients that go beyond the reduction of waste. Making everything to order allows us to be open to customizations from dimensions to materials to finishes (as long as they fall within the boundaries of our values). Right now, custom work represents almost 50% of our business.

In an industry where architects and interior designers think deeply about every detail of their client’s spaces, this offering helps us to provide more personal service and hopefully results in pieces that are long-lived because they are so perfectly suited to their environments.

Above is a recent installation of a custom undyed wool Pool Rug that we made for a Portland residence designed by Guggenheim Architecture + Design Studio. We worked with the design team to create a composition that responds to the dimensions of the space and lives in harmonious relationship with the other objects in the room. It was a joy for us to receive these photos from the proud homeowner as it is such a beautiful example of the benefits of custom made-to-order.

For more information on our customization process, please reach out here. For more info on Earth Day, check out this site for resources. Most likely there is an event near you. For our local Bainbridge Island friends, maybe we’ll see you at Rotary Park on Sunday!

Photography: Mikola Accuardi, Mikola Accuardi, Ben Blood and Mikola Accuardi.

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