The Future of American Furniture

TL;DR Overseas manufacturing is causing consumers inflated prices, major slowdowns, and is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions. By bringing manufacturing back to United States, consumers will have access to higher quality and more affordable furniture.

Covid was a black swan event - an unpredictable incident that caused extreme changes to the current structure of systems. It disrupted the entire globe for two years and counting and demonstrated how fragile global supply chains were. What we realized was that the weakness of our globalized system was how easily a company, or country, could be cut off from the rest of the world - hurting global industries reliant on those goods. This was no clearer than how beleaguered the semiconductor supply chain became, causing multiple industries - cars, PS5s, phones - to suffer a similar fate.

This is, however, the upside to black swan events. Such irreversible and globe shaking events create opportunities for industrious businesses to reshape the landscape towards a more sustainable future. And coming out of the pandemic it is clear two industries are ripe for change: global shipping and overseas manufacturing. And that’s why we’re reinventing how furniture is made:

Woodsy arrives at a moment with a new model of manufacturing, we call it Minimum Mile Manufacturing.

A typical desk will travel almost 17,000 miles to get to a consumer. There are literally hundreds of steps to this process that can get disrupted along the way. 

Historically, furniture starts with a design. The design is then shopped around to brands and once bought, it is put into production somewhere in Asia. The finished product then gets put on a cargo ship to be shipped back to the US, where it’s stored in a warehouse until you buy it.

That’s a lot of steps. And we’re not even counting how all the different parts needed for manufacturing are sourced. A lot of steps means a lot of opportunities for something to go wrong and delay the process. Modern consumer products get more stamps in their passports than the average customer. Your furniture is tired, I’m tired just explaining the process, and consumers are tired of getting low quality products with high price tags to pay for their furniture’s globe hopping life cycle.  

At Woodsy, we’re building the future of local manufacturing. Locally made, locally sourced, and locally delivered. 

This all coincides with consumers wanting their brands to be ethically produced and sustainable. Wood is an inherently sustainable manufacturing material. Humankind cannot invent a better carbon capture device than a tree. Also, there is no safer way to store carbon than the wood of a tree. Any wood not used for the final product can be used for firewood or repurposed into plywood. Then when wood furniture is ready to be thrown out it’s easily recyclable. The main source of CO2 emission in the manufacturing of furniture is shipping. So if you reduce that, you significantly reduce wooden furnitures’ impact on the environment. 

Brands that are able to capitalize on this moment and bring manufacturing closer to where consumers are will not only win over consumers, but also start the green manufacturing revolution. To use a word that has been beaten to death, holistically Minimum Mile Manufacturing is about so much more than just shortening supply chains to save time, costs, and avoid the frequent disruptions of a globalized world. It’s a smarter way to build a brand that  capitalizes on the future of what consumers and where the manufacturing market is heading: sustainable local green businesses. 

Minimum Mile Manufacturing is the fourth industrial revolution. The history of manufacturing has been one where things have been made locally - a hundred years from now - we will see global supply chains as a “blip”, between when furniture manufacturing was overseas, vs now. 

The oil glut, and human-rights abuses overseas have driven an environment, where it was somehow cheaper to ship a desk 17,000 miles 

Shipping and labor costs have risen steadily since the 1950s and exploded in the past decade. It is now cheaper and greener to manufacture in the US. With electric vehicles and robotics the technology has also caught up to enable this manufacturing revolution. Woodsy Will Win, and it all starts with American manufacturing. Woodsy wants to start building the future now.