Kalon Studios was founded not only to create products that stimulate and inspire, but to use design for positive change. With a commitment to ecologically-conscious, regional production, and an embrace of traditional craft modalities as well as high-tech precision manufacturing and modern forms, Kalon invites a new chapter of contemporary, sustainable design.

At Kalon Studios, we view our designs as part of an ecosystem of impact. From those involved in creating work to the production choices we make, to the way our customers engage with our products, we make every effort to consider communities, the planet and its resources, as well as future generations.

Kalon seeks to redefine what constitutes good design, knowing that it must include supportive, sustainable and regenerative practices. We embrace beauty, innovation, and progress as helpful tools in achieving this. Kalon is about aesthetics insofar as it is a means to achieve our mission of creating design for a sustainable culture. Our approach places as much value in the way a Kalon piece has been made — all along the chain of custody, including the communities and methods of production supported along the way (beginning with where and how a tree has been harvested, and by whom) — as we do in the stylistic beauty of the finished design.

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Our Design Commitments — Beyond Human-Centered Design

The decisions we make have an ecosystem of impact that reverberates far beyond the acts of ideation and creation, and every choice is a chance to support something — or not support something. By knowing this, we can design with intention, and activate the political, social, and cultural aspects of our respective practices. This means that from design to production, each piece must be functional, long-lasting, and of the highest quality. Along the way, it must support local communities, uphold craft traditions, and reimagine how we all engage with material goods.

Producing with Intention

We don’t design to industry standards, we design and develop beyond them. Our pieces and materials meet some of the world’s most stringent sustainability standards, but more importantly, they meet our standards. The materials we work with are carefully selected for their unique qualities as well as their ability to grow more beautiful with age and use. This is no accident — the longer we love a piece, the more sustainable that purchase becomes. To that end, pieces are designed with flexibility of use, durability, and timeless appeal in mind. Rather than planned obsolescence, we design with planned longevity in mind. Our hope is that our work will adapt to our customers’ ever-changing needs and tastes over the course of a lifetime. We choose to work with natural materials to ensure end-of-life bioavailability of our designs. We use safe, non-toxic materials that don’t emit harmful VOCs or odors.

Championing Local Craft

As we work to find sustainable and regenerative solutions to manufacturing, we engage many of the newest — and sometimes, the oldest — methods and materials. Our intent is to sustain and revitalize the businesses, communities and craft traditions most local to us. By choosing to work with small-scale, often family-owned FSC-certified manufacturers and small teams of highly skilled craftspeople, we are keeping vital economic diversity, jobs, and skills in our communities. By bringing our approach to these manufacturers, we expand the industrial commons while amplifying our impact.

Minding Our Impact

We follow a philosophy of local manufacturing, harvesting lumber from the forests most local to where our pieces are made. Sustainable, regenerative forestry practices, centering on domestic hardwoods, ensure that forests managed for the production of wood products contribute to healthy ecosystems. We use a Batch Size One production model, where it is as efficient and cost effective to produce a single item as it is to produce a run of 1,000. In this way, we break from the destructive cycles of mass production, overconsumption of resources, and wasteful overproduction. Additionally, every Kalon piece meets an extremely high standard of 90% material efficiency or more. Despite this already industry-leading example, we are continually redeveloping our manufacturing process to create less waste.