Modern fast furniture presents a global environmental problem: it’s created using toxic chemicals, doesn’t last, and contributes to more than 9 million tons of landfill waste each year. This week’s startup is revolutionizing the furniture industry by turning up the sustainability dial in a big way.
Company: Calico Sol
Industry: Household Goods
Team: Army engineer turned social entrepreneur Douglas Williams (Founder)
Douglas Williams' exposure to sustainability initiatives while working in Germany inspired him to make a career change. After spending 10 years in the military, he made the difficult decision to apply to business school and pivot into entrepreneurship. A strong believer that economic development lies at the foundation of societal progress, he started off creating disposable litter boxes, but ultimately found his place in the furniture industry. He hasn’t looked back since.
Like many things in our consumer economy, the furniture industry in its traditional form is wasteful and damaging. When incorrectly disposed of, furniture becomes unrecyclable. Calico Sol solves this issue by using 100% renewable materials, streamlining the product lifecycle, and doing its part in transitioning the household goods industry from a linear economy to a circular one.
Looking forward, Williams hopes to take any product you typically find in the landfill and redesign it, put it in your house, and recycle it, so customers benefit from higher quality products while the planet and global community benefit from a circular green economy.
Taking ownership of the product’s entire lifecycle by designing, manufacturing, and selling it, Calico Sol ensures that each product can be recycled. Calico Sol has created a model that eliminates waste and ensures product recovery by using materials that are 100% renewable with a clean recycling and manufacturing process.
Calico Sol removes the labor intensive hassle that recycling furniture typically entails. They’ve added an easily scannable QR code on the couch’s wash and care tag, so you’ll receive a return label and box within days, and get a discount on the next product. Customers win, Calico Sol wins, and the environment wins.
What better way to protect the environment than to learn from it? In nature, waste from one process is used as fuel for another, living systems do more with less, and as ecosystems grow larger, they develop new functionalities to adapt. Calico Sol seamlessly does all of this and more!