Furniture startup Hoek Home is branding their new flatpack designs as sustainable, but there appears to be an issue.
The company's approach is to use recycled HDPE sheets that have been CNC-milled into a chassis and a set of four legs that nest within the overall shape. These legs pop out and snap into mortised protrusions at the corners.
The idea is that the furniture is so easy to assemble and break down that end users will perform this regularly, as a space-saving measure. I'm not sure if that would play out in the real world, but that's the company's thought:
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The issue I have is with the "sustainability" copy on their site:
"4 Legs create a table that will last you a lifetime. If you're done with your Hoek then send the HDPE back to us and well insure the process begins again. Your returned legs are then re-shredded into a pulp and compressed again into a substrate that can be milled again."
They make no mention of whether the chassis and tabletop are recycled. They do mention that the tabletops are made from "sustainably sourced plywood," but they don't say how the tabletops are bonded to the chassises, and if this process is reversible. Because they've not mentioned it, I assume it's irreversible--which would mean that the chassis, which makes up a good chunk of HDPE, would go into the landfill.