At the end of the day we only have one Earth, and Great Lakes Design is committed to the environment and our impact on it. Beautiful wood furniture pieces would be pointless if the Earth was harmed in the process. Here are some of the principles that guide the art of our production:


Local & often reclaimed sourcing of hardwoods.

  • The majority of our hardwoods come from the south-eastern Michigan forests and mills.
  • Minimal transportation of our materials reduces our overall carbon footprint.
  • Much of our hardwood lumber comes from naturally felled trees in our urban environment that would otherwise be turned into mulch or firewood.


Sustainably grown & managed sourcing of softwoods.

  • We only purchase softwoods from sustainably grown forests of the United States and Canada.
  • We check to ensure our softwood and panel materials are certified SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative)


Minimal waste during our production process.

  • We have an almost 0% scrap rate.
  • Off cuts and wood waste are used for artwork and small projects.
  • We make less than 200lbs of landfill waste per month.


Reuse and/or recycling of ALL packaging materials.

  • Cardboard is reused for shipping small products.
  • Bubble wrap and plastics are reused to protect our items during shipping.
  • All other plastics and ‘unusable’ packing materials are recycled.


Near-exclusive use of water-based and environmentally-friendly finishes and paints.

  • We use the most premium paints, stains, and topcoats that are water-based, yet more durable than any their solvent-based counterparts.
  • 0-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or near 0-VOC rating on all finishes.
  • The technology of these finishes has come a long way! Years of experimenting and trials have proved these finishes are both tactilely pleasing and stand up to the test of time.


What do you think would help us create our custom pieces while preserving the environment? Let us know in the comment section below!

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