Overconsumption is on its way out. Even IKEA, the largest furniture manufacturer in the world, is pushing for stricter environmental policies after its head of sustainability stated that consumers in the West had likely reached “peak stuff.” This cultural shift, coupled with the sinking Loonie, has inspired Canadians to buy locally.
KROFT+CO, a Toronto-based manufacturer, is leading the maker movement with its collection of bedroom, dining and living room furniture. With a modern, minimalist aesthetic, the company handcrafts each piece from its facility just north of Toronto. “People are growing tired of the disposable lifestyle and realizing how disconnected they are from real physical things,” explained Dustin Kroft, Director of Product Management at KROFT+CO. “Buying local often results in a better consumer experience and a higher quality product.”
Although widely used throughout Europe, linoleum has yet to gain a foothold in the North American market. KROFT+CO uses the organic substrate to add subtle pops of colour to its pieces, in hues like mushroom, jeans and charcoal. “It offers our customers a level of personalization and customization and it’s a fun, organic material,” said Kroft.
The pieces in the collection are as elegant as they are functional. The modern white oak sideboard, for example, features three drawers and two doors with touch activated hardware. “We try and keep the urban dweller in mind when we design our furniture,” said Kroft. “When it comes to compact living, space and storage is at a premium.”
Kroft was immediately drawn to the idea of “slow designed, undressed furniture” when selecting an aesthetic for the company. With an emphasis on quality, craftsmanship and ethically sound labour, KROFT+CO has produced a bespoke line with the assurance of longevity.
“We aren’t interested in taking one design and launching a collection off that design where every piece is just some kind of derivative of another. We are taking our time — when a piece is ready, it’s ready. That means we don’t have 50 pieces to show right now but it also means we are proud of each piece.”
Finally able to return to his sketch pad, Kroft says he is working on new table designs and leg systems for existing products that incorporate metal. KROFT+CO is in talks with retailers in the U.S. and Canada, but for now their line of products is available on their website. To see more of their work, check out their online modern furniture store.