Craft Culture: Eco-friendly outdoor furniture at Loll Designs

Photo by JaneCane Photography / www.janecanephotography.com

Photo by Amanda Cane, JaneCane Photography

Photo by JaneCane Photography / www.janecanephotography.com

Loll designed and manufactured Bent Paddle and Third Street’s tap handles // Photo by Amanda Cane, JaneCane Photography

Since 2005, Loll Designs has turned more than 50 million milk jugs into functional, fashionable furniture. The Adirondack chair is its most popular product, with 12 different designs. One, the Lollygagger Outdoor Lounge Chair, is a sleek, modern version of a traditional Adirondack chair, complete with a built-in bottle opener. They also manufacture a wide variety of table and chair lines, as well as accessories like dog bowls, planters, and toolboxes.

Half of Loll’s business is making commercial-grade products for resorts, hotels, and restaurants. Toronto’s Sugar Beach and Seattle’s public library feature their furniture, as do the patios at Surly Brewing Company and Canal Park Brewing Company. Loll’s two big retailers are Room & Board and Design Within Reach, making their products accessible across the U.S. as well as in six countries internationally.

The price point  for Loll furniture—between $500 and more than $1,000—is admittedly high compared with much of the outdoor furniture on the market, but for a reason. Each piece is made to last indefinitely—to withstand harsh Minnesota winters and rainy Seattle springs. It’s also designed so that individual parts can be replaced if damaged. Plus, there’s value in supporting a local company employing sustainable practices, paying fair wages, and winning the attentions of Time magazine, which has twice bestowed Loll with top 100 Green Design product awards, and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, which has given Loll three GOOD DESIGN awards.

Photo by JaneCane Photography / www.janecanephotography.com

Loll’s Adirondack chair is its most popular product, with 12 different designs // Photo by Amanda Cane, JaneCane Photography

Greg says he’s constantly looking for opportunities to innovate, create, and expand his company, often finding inspiration in his environment. On a recent trip to California, he took a 14-mile walk from Santa Monica through Venice Beach and Marina del Ray. While walking, he noticed there wasn’t a single piece of Loll furniture on the balconies or in the backyards of the homes he passed. He also noticed that the furniture that was there looked cheap and unused. Greg took it as a challenge, and has been sketching ideas for a new collection based on his observations. “For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of the job is designing new things and making them,” Greg says. “We’re always doing that. It’s fun to do.”

Loll has matured far beyond Greg’s initial expectations. “Originally, I set out to make a unique Adirondack chair,” he says. “And now we’re in the outdoor furniture business—we have an established brand. We’re not just nationally but globally distributed, and there’s recognition that we have a good product.”

Photos by Amanda Cane, JaneCane Photography

*Correction: The original article stated that Loll’s space was 2,600-square-feet instead of 30,000; one percent of Loll’s gross sales, not net profit, are donated through the 1% Program.

 

Pages: 1 2

 

Speak Your Mind