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 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.

Should you have questions that are not answered below, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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 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 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.

Our Material Selection

Kalon works primarily with natural materials, embracing unique character and color as integral design elements. These high-quality materials have minimal to no chemical processing and no harmful additives. Our materials are thoughtfully sourced for longevity and the ability to grow more beautiful with age and use.

Woods
To maintain healthy forests, the most responsible wood choice is sustainably managed, locally-sourced wood. All our woods are sustainably harvested from forests local to our factory. Traditionally, only wood with “ideal” grain structure makes it to market. On the other hand, we put minimal restriction on the grain structure of the woods that we select, which is vitally important to reducing waste in the timber industry 

Plywood
When it’s structurally beneficial we use FSC Certified Baltic Birch Plywood. It passes CARB II emission standards for Formaldehyde (California 93120 Phase 2 compliant for formaldehyde), the strictest emission standard to date.

Metals
The metals for our custom parts and hardware are selected for their durability and beauty. Our standard finish for metal is wax. Wax allows our metals to develop a beautiful patina over time.

Textiles
All textiles we use are 100% pure, natural fiber. We select the purest, all-natural fiber textiles, working primarily with linen, organic cotton and wool. These textiles are reverently sourced from farmer to mill, and minimally processed with no flame retardants or harmful additives, which means no off-gassing. 

Our upholstered products use organic latex foam and Greenguard Gold Certified wool fabrics. For durability, we allow for up to 10% synthetic content in our upholstery fabrics.

For information about how to care for your upholstered product, please visit our Care + Maintenance page.

Latex + Coir
We work with GOLS-certified, hand-molded, natural latex derived from organic rubber trees and ECO Institute certified organic palm coir (coconut fiber from recycled coconut husks). 

Bedding
Our mattresses are made in the USA from only four pure materials: organic coir, organic natural latex, natural wool, and organic cotton. Each is carefully sourced and certified for natural, organic content at the various stages of production, from farmer and crop to factory. They are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria and mold, naturally fire-retardant and naturally cooling. They are entirely free of additives, chemical flame retardants, and toxins. 

Hemp seed oil non-toxic finish

Finishes
Our standard wood finish is a premium, organic plant-based oil/wax finish. It contains a sophisticated combination of natural resins and waxes that together penetrate the wood to create a durable, water repellent, water-mark resistant finish, enhancing and maintaining wood’s beauty and breathability.

For our lighter woods, we use Kalon Bare Finish, a premium, organic plant-based oil/wax finish, painstakingly developed to preserve the delicate, luminous beauty of raw wood. This hand-rubbed finish is water repellent and allows the wood to remain lighter for longer as the wood develops its natural patina through age and use.

Water-based Lacquer
We work with a GreenGuard Certified, water-based, furniture grade lacquer that is non-toxic, low VOC, and 100% HAPs free (Hazardous Air Pollutants).

Glues
Our standard glue is a water-based Titebond II equivalent. Our glues are water-based and non-toxic. They out-perform by 3x both the stringent E1 (European) and California (US) emission standards, the highest ratings available.

Packaging
All of our packaging is made of recycled materials. Our standard packaging is corrugated cardboard for both the exterior box and interior padding. Thin layers of recyclable poly-sheeting are used to carefully wrap large pieces to protect surfaces.

Certifications

  • ASTM + CPSC Compliant
  • GreenGuard™ Certified (Finishes)
  • SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold certified
  • American-Grown NOP-Certified Organic Cotton
  • The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
  • Certified Organic Cotton Fabric and Thread
  • GOTS-Certified
  • Oeko-Tex Certified
  • Made in the USA
  • ECO Institute
  • Eu Ecolabel Certified
  • Greenguard and Greenguard Gold Certified
  • Contributes to LEED 2009 Mr Credit 6, Rapidly Renewable Materials
  • Contributes to LEED 2009 Ieq Credit 4.5, Low Emitting Materials, Systems Furniture and Seating
  • Contributes to LEED 2009 HC MR Credit 5, Furniture and Medical Furnishings