Made In UK
Starting this business together back in 2016, Robin and myself investigated quite a few approaches before settling on how we would do things at Grain, but one thing that was never changed (or questioned), was the decision to make all of our furniture ourselves, by hand, right here in the UK.
True to our word, today the team here at Grain make everything ourselves at our workshop in London- me, Robin, and a little help from a couple of others when we get really busy. We operate a system of ‘on-demand manufacture’. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like - we don’t hold stock, instead we are set up to produce anything from our product range from scratch in a short space of time.
Why we do it
If making the products ourselves was the first thing we agreed on, then making out of high quality woods was definitely a close second. We know there are easier ways, more common ways (we’re looking at you veneered chipboard), but we decided to go against ‘against the grain’ (excuse the pun).
The reason? It’s sustainable. When you build something properly, using high quality materials, it lasts. When something lasts there’s no need to replace it frequently, and if it gets damaged, you can repair it. When it reaches the end of its life, proper wooden furniture can be repurposed into loads of new things. We love old wood at Grain, so we actually encourage people to send any of our products back to us and we’ll give it a new lease of life, in exchange for a lovely discount on your next piece. There is no reason (especially with modern techniques) that the furniture of today can’t last as long as the furniture of the past, without costing a fortune.
One of our company values goes like this ‘Responsible: We benefit directly from what the environment offers, therefore we have a responsibility and must do everything to help protect it’.
Building furniture that lasts, from ethically sourced, high quality woods is the first step - our future is directly connected to how we act now, so we plan to do everything we can as we grow this business to protect what’s important.
So what does our making process actually look like?
Once your order is placed, you’ll have a 3-day window during which you can change the measurements of your order if you wish, just to give a little extra piece of mind and make sure you’ve got it exactly right for your space.
During those 3 days, we order in the raw materials we need for your order, direct from nearby suppliers and timber importers. We only use traceable and certified timber originating in the EU or north America so we can guarantee that you (and of course us) sleep well at night. Once that has arrived, we check the quality and book a place in the production queue, letting you know as this happens.
Then we get to work on the making. It starts on a programmable cutting machine, and ends with us sanding table tops, shaping legs, treating wood or even making radically different looking slabs, such as our edge grain ply. There’s a whole lot more to say about that, which we talk about in a video a showing you our process, coming very soon.
Once each piece is finished we put it through our thorough quality testing process, (which includes leaving it for a week- essential when working with real woods), before signing each piece, packing it into 100% recycled materials for shipping to your door. We even custom make every box to fit your product, as it’s really important that after spending all that time making a beautiful product, we’re confident it will be fine after it leaves our workshop! One size definitely doesn’t fit all in our case.
Hopefully you agree with us that this is a decent approach to take to bringing new products into the world. We’ve gotten pretty efficient at this whole process, and so usually deliver in under 5 weeks.