Sustainable Flatpack.

The future of furniture

Welcome to the way we believe all modern furniture should be made.

What makes it sustainable?

Allow us to explain:

Customised to the cm

We’re making compromise a thing of the past. All our ranges can be easily customised via our website to the centimeter. Now finding the right size is no longer a problem.

Furniture for life

It moves with you. Demount and move home, rebuild, store it, or pass it on to another- as many times as you like, for life.

Build it properly

Made properly with quality materials, will reduce the cycle of buy and replace. Easy (and even fun) to put up and down, whilst never losing integrity. So it can be kept and used forever.

On-demand manufacture

Only making something after it’s definitely wanted means no wasted energy, transport, storage space, or unnecessary stock sales.

Circular materials

If its first life comes to an end, the stuff it was made from can be 100% separated back to original materials, which can then all be reused.

Fair supply chain

Always certified woods, transparent suppliers, no nasty chemicals in production, recyclable packaging… what we believe are givens for a responsible business.

It's not what we say, it's what we do

Since day one at Grain we’ve been working hard to make a furniture brand we are proud to work for, and one we would want to buy from. We’ve created the rules we live by, and every piece of Grain furniture has this DNA. These are those rules.

Flatpack is the right way to do furniture, as long as you do it well (and we do)

There are many reasons why flatpack furniture is good, when you really look into it. 

First up, it’s easy and efficient to move around. This is great getting into your home, no matter how awkward a doorway or staircase is. It’s also better along the whole chain: nicer for delivery drivers, and with less energy and industrial space used. Shipping can’t be avoided when buying physical products, but this will be better for the environment, and big bulky furniture that doesn’t come apart involves a lot of air being moved around the place!

Proper flatpack means not just building it once from flat, but being able to return it to flat and rebuild just as easily. Moving home? It’s great it comes apart. Designing for ease of re-building is essential. If it’s annoying to do, or doesn’t survive reassembly, then people won’t do it, and will be unable to keep it. Our flatpack means you can avoid that. 

Another great advantage of flatpack is that component parts can be replaced if damaged, rather than getting a whole new item. A broken table leg in transit doesn’t consign the whole product to the scrapheap, merely requiring a new small part.

So if you look at it closely, flatpack wins all round!

Never for landfill

How would you create a piece of furniture if you wanted it to stay with someone for a really long time? And not discarded too soon? The answer is to make it strong, and easy to build, unbuild, transport and rebuild multiple times, simply, quickly, and without any loss of integrity. Allowing a product to move means it can be useful for a much longer time, which in turn means less resources consumed buying things over and over. So no matter what life throws at you, it can move with you.

We also want people to love how it looks, not matter how far into the future. So we don’t design for trends in forms or materials that we know will pass.

No stock room means never making needlessly.

This means we only make something once our customers have bought. Why is this better? Well, as we’re not trying to guess what will be sold, we’re not bringing things into the world that are unwanted, and then need to be flogged off cheap (or even incinerated). We don’t have to hold stock, so we’re not filling up warehouses, and not wasting any resources or materials. An on-demand product will journey just once to your home from the factory, whereas a typical stock product will undertake several journeys with a significantly greater footprint.

An exception to always making on-demand would be our ‘offcut products’, smaller things which we co-produce to make sure we’re not throwing away any valuable wood during production of a custom sized piece of furniture. But this exception has significantly reduced our waste overall, so is definitely allowed!

Circular economy - designing with the future in mind

Making products that are properly, and fully, recyclable is a challenge. Not least in furniture where this shouldn’t happen until a future time when recycling capabilities may be different from now. 

However, it’s a challenge we relish, and we build on years of research in the design community to work out what’s best. We believe the consensus is around making products circular- when they’ve reached the end of their useful life, the elements that make it up can be reused for something else, and this can happen again and again. The advantage here is that increasingly scarce natural resources won’t need further depletion, and nothing has to go to landfill.

To allow this to happen, everything we make can be easily separated back into its individual raw constituent parts. Metal fixings can be unscrewed and recycled as metal. We never bond different material types together, and there’s no plastic fittings. Wood can be sanded back and repurposed into new furniture products (which we already do with what we produce). And once wood has been used many times, it can be chipped and turned into other types of board, which then begins a new life of its own.

In practise this is quite unusual in the industry, and requires quite advanced design capabilities. It’s something we always think about first, right from the inception of a product, through prototyping and on to production and your home.

Always use properly sourced raw materials.

Responsibly sourced (and certified) birch plywood, oak, and linoleum make up our product ranges, with zero rare or untraceable woods. We also choose materials that we know can be re-used and recycled. We use suppliers of parts we need that are transparent about what they make, and where they make it. We have no nasty chemicals on our production line, because they’re usually not nice for the people working with them. Recyclable packaging is our standard, and we keep single-use plastic to an absolute minimum across everything we do. Just using fair materials doesn’t mean you’re a sustainable company of course, but it’s a good start, and should in our view be an absolute given for a business like ours in the 21st century. 

Our goal is for furniture to be everything you want it to be; Well made, easy to use, exactly the right size and not negatively impacting the environment. So we chose flatpack, and to do it properly and sustainably. Better flatpack.