Taking something that was going to be thrown away and turning it into something new is a concept that’s been explored by various companies over the years. However, there’s a duo of companies (collectively known as Good Sheet) that take that concept to a whole different level.
Good Sheet’s roots come from an unlikely place. TrueRide was founded in 1997, and its purpose was to build skateboard parks. Based in Duluth, Minnesota, they designed, built and installed over 450 custom skateboard parks all over the country and other countries for a period of 10 years. One of the ramp components, a side panel, was made of High Density Polyethylene Sheet (HDPE), which is made from recycled milk jugs.
In 2003, the idea that furniture could be made from HDPE was born. For the next three years, they designed, developed and perfected what would come to be known as the Loll Adirondack chair. This chair (released in 2006) was made for relaxation, and completely out of recycled milk jugs, sturdy beyond any other outdoor furniture and resistant to sun bleaching.
Loll Designs was born from the innovation of this recycled (and recyclable) lawn chair. From one chair came forth many chairs, tables, planter boxes, outdoor furniture and storage. It wasn’t long before the awards started piling up, including the New York House Innovative Green Design Award, the Green Dot Award, the Green Design Award and the American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award.
Loll Designs shows their commitment to the environment in more ways than just using recycled milk jugs to create long-lasting outdoor furniture. In 2008, Loll Designs became a member of the 1% for the Planet movement, a global collection of companies that donate at least 1% of their annual net revenue to various environmental organizations worldwide. If giving away 1% of profits to benefit the environment doesn’t convince you that Loll Designs is committed to the welfare of the planet, consider the post-consumer content used in their furniture. The majority of their products are made from post-consumer recycled HDPE, made from milk jugs. It is estimated that 8 milk jugs are saved from landfills for every pound of Loll furniture, a number that quickly adds up.
Not only are the chairs made from recycled materials, but they themselves are recyclable when they come to the end of their long lives. More than 95 percent of any waste created via Loll Design’s manufacturing process goes to the local recycling plant to be reused and made into something else. Loll also gets together with their sister company, Epicurean, every year for a tree-planting field trip. They’ve had the annual field trip every year since 2008, including doing flood rehabilitation in 2013, the year after a significant flood hit Minnesota. They spend the day planting trees in areas that were impacted by the flood in order to prevent further erosion.
Loll Designs is also committed to keeping their entire manufacturing process in the United States. Some companies will start with raw materials that they then ship out to China to be manufactured, making the cost to our planet huge when they are shipped out and then shipped back once they are created.
Loll uses only materials from the USA, and all steps of the manufacturing process take place in the USA. When you buy products made from start to finish in the USA, more jobs are created in the US, and those jobs have safe and fair working conditions. Those thing are not guaranteed when jobs are outsourced, where child labor, long hours and extremely low pay are unfortunately very common. Keeping your money in the USA promotes the health of the economy here. When buying a product in the USA, you also reduce the carbon footprint immensely. In addition, you also can be more certain of the safety and quality of your product, since America’s standards for products are higher than other countries that focus on completing the process as cheaply as possible.
Loll Designs creates unique, beautiful and long-enduring recycled outdoor furniture. They keep jobs and money in the US, as well as doing their part to reduce the impact of excess trash on the planet. If you are looking for a way to keep money and jobs in the US while also keeping plastic trash out of landfills, it might be time to purchase that patio furniture you’ve been wanting from Loll Designs.