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Unto This Last is a miniature Ikea, situated on Brick Lane in London’s East End. Like Ikea, prices are low and many products are sold as flat-packs (pre-assembly optional). Unlike Ikea, everything is manufactured uber-locally, and the designs aren’t overly familiar. The workshop uses the latest 3D modelling software to design and produce innovative and inexpensive furniture, which it sells directly to the public. Orders are manufactured to measure, within a week, at mass-production prices. Most of Unto This Last’s chairs, shelves, tables, storage units and beds are made from birch plywood, chosen for its lightness and sustainability — all of the timber comes from cultivated forests in Latvia and Finland. And since pieces are made to order, customers can choose from various finishes and sizes, like adapting chairs to fit specific seat height requirements. The company’s name was taken from John Ruskin’s 1860 book advocating a return to the local craftsman workshop. Using modern technology, Unto This Last has been able to follow Ruskin’s manifesto, decentralizing production while maintaining competitive prices. The company hopes to grow by duplicating the workshop to other locations. We love the micro-manufacturing concept: less stock, no warehousing, less transportation and less packaging, equates more choice and lower prices for consumers. Cutting back transportation also means less air pollution, and the ‘still made here’ production pumps consumer spending back into local economies. Plenty of opportunities for local versions in every medium or large city. Partner with Unto This Last, or start your own retail-workshop, as close to your customers as you can get. Spotted by: Flavorpill London

Website: www.untothislast.co.uk

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