With the world more conscience of “green” issues than ever before, brands around the world are joining the eco-revolution, offering eco-friendly options that work for all lifestyles. But you don’t have to give up the things you love, in this case style, to save the environment. I sat down with some of the creators of Brastilo for an impromptu Q&A. Here’s what they had to say.
Q: What was the catalyst for Brastilo?
A: Brastilo was created because at the time of conception there were no real brands that stood out from the crowd with a Brazilian touch. Also, since the first “drawing board meetings,” Brastilo has always had the Brazil and eco-friendly aspects in its DNA. This really encouraged the other designers and me to create a differentiated brand.
Q: With your eco-friendly initiative, what materials do you use in the line?
A: The eco-friendly material we work with the most is pine wood that is grown in our re-forestry plantation and is managed with our advanced processes. But we’re not limited to just pine. For example the smaller scale accessories, including handcrafted bowls, are made from carefully dyed and treated newspaper that are made by a community in São Paulo. Also, we use kraft paper in many ways, including packaging.
Q: With the environment being such a big topic today, how do you keep up with the increasing demand?
A: The demand for eco-friendly materials has grown, and as a consequence there is often a shortage of raw materials for many factories. We’ve dealt with that issue head on. For example, instead of making handcrafted solid wood case goods, we turn our wood into chips and from that we produce particleboard, or MDF. We have the ability to administrate our supply because of our forests, and we manage them according to the forecasts and necessities our company has.
Q: Who do you see as your core consumer?
A: We see the demand for our product(s) primarily in metropolitan areas and in homes where the consumer wants something different that expresses their taste and personality in a unique way. Brastilo is about Brazil, Design and eco-conscience, and there are consumers across the country that are looking for differentiation and style with the eco-products that Brastilo offers.
Q: Renewable resources, though good for the environment, are often more expensive. Is that the case with Brastilo?
A: Yes, there are expenses related to using renewable resources that are due to the price fluctuations in the demand. Luckily, we don’t encounter this as much as other factories that don’t have their own forests, but there is an impact in the market prices as with any other high demand eco-friendly product. Brastilo uses pine wood in a different way than most of the manufactures in Brazil and the world. Brastilo has a different look without having to be produced entirely in MDF or Particleboard like many manufactures in Italy and Scandinavia. Brastilo’s expenses of using solid renewable wood are impacted but the process of working with a natural substrate through the whole factory process like gluing, sanding and crafting the many boards to fit according to our designer’s details.
Q: What is your forecast in furniture trends?
A: The trends we are seeing is products that are built to express the individual’s taste and personality. We think the cookie cutter age is leaving and that traditional sets are being replaced by unique furniture and accessories that are eco-friendly and are from brands that inspire the consumers. These might be “quirky” brands that have a different coffee table or bookshelf that become the center of attention in the room, but consumers want to feel like the furniture and accessories in their home are different than what they might find next door at their neighbor’s. It’s all about having something different and distinctive.