Turning the tables on unsustainable furniture
11 January 2019 Furniture
In Brisbane, Australia, flat-pack furniture is being re-imagined.
Joiner Ben McGreevy recently launched the furniture company Oak and Hide, using Australian Hoop Pine to craft furniture that will be ingeniously flat-packed for delivery but guaranteed to out-live its cheaper flat-packed rivals by decades.
Ben has abolished the need for hex-wrenches, dowels, fasteners and bolts.
With a desktop Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine, he creates timber joinery with pinpoint accuracy that is not possible to achieve by hand.
Committed to the craft
The Oak and Hide coffee table is Ben’s flagship product, borne out of his frustration with flat-packed furniture. It features a clean, simple design with strong joints, that doesn’t require any tools to assemble.
“Even though I have probably assembled and disassembled this piece more than 50 times, I still enjoy slotting the pieces together,” he explains.
Despite studying mechanical engineering, Ben was drawn to wood work.
“It’s fair to say I caught the woodworking bug. There’s something special about making products from timber with every piece having a unique grain, different textures, smells and behaviours. It’s just a great feeling when you make something that looks great and also has a purpose,” he explains.
An ethical choice
Ben sets his work apart from competitors by remaining staunchly committed to using sustainable timber. For his coffee table, he chose Australian Hoop Pine certified by Responsible Wood, our national member for Australia.
“For me, it’s an ethical choice but other people take an interest in the fact that I only use sustainable timber and fully support its use,” Ben explains. "The Hoop Pine plywood was manufactured locally and sourced from Australian plantations, making it ideal for my products.”
The advantages for companies like Oak and Hide trying to make informed, responsible choices when selecting materials is self-evident.
PEFC/Responsible Wood certification gives the timber industry and its end users peace of mind about the origins of the timber and the way in which this precious resource has been managed.