A family of entrepreneurs since 1895
Grythyttan Stålmöbler was founded in 1895 in the deep forests of Bergslagen, Sweden. Today, more than a hundred years later, one could argue this to be the perfect place to build and nurture a very successful and sustainable design brand. Back then the key to survival and success was the closeness to materials, steel and wood. Today, the Lindqvist-family heritage continues to be an important part of the brand and employer for the small village called Grythyttan.
“To make use and care for our small community in the middle of the Swedish woods is imbedded in our DNA”, Karl Lindqvist, CEO of Grythyttan Stålmöbler says, when asked what makes Grythyttan unique and the importance of the location.
Karl grew up in Grythyttan and is the fourth generation Lindqvist living and working here. Standing by a window in the office by the factory, he points towards a house not far away: “That’s my parent’s house, where I grew up.” Needless to say, both Karl and the brand got many stories worth telling. Some has been passed down from his great grandfather Karl Lindqvist, who founded the company by the river. Others from his grandfather Artur Lindqvist, who not only designed the A2 chair – a modern classic still in production, but who also supported his workers to organize themselves in unions back in the 1940s.
I believe my grandfather helped them organize because he truly cared for the workers situations – a healthy company is a successful company; this means caring for the employees and their interests. Wanting to do things the proper and right way has been the mindset passed down in my family. It’s basically intuitive now, Karl says.
The mindset of wanting to do the right thing is the reason Grythyttan scores so high on sustainability matters. Back in 2007 it was decided the factory would only run on renewable electricity, and the majority of the steel used to produce the furniture is recycled. Each piece is made from spring steel and carefully checked by the blacksmiths before any production begins. The same goes for all raw materials, the wood used is all PEFC- or FSC-certified and carefully checked before production. Each piece is sorted to ensure the final product matches in color and quality. Premium products means premium customer care, ever since the 1960’s customers have been given the opportunity to purchase spare parts for their beloved outdoor furnishing, granting them an even longer life.
There goes a lot of care into all the products and decisions made. The production is not fully automated as Karl and the team believes in craftmanship and that human experience is required to ensure impeccability.
Somehow, we have always been making sustainable choices, Which I believe comes from us wanting to run a long living, healthy, business while designing long-lasting quality products to our customers. Looking back at our decisions to use renewable electricity, strong supplier relationships, recycled steel and so forth – it turns out this goes hand in hand with building what today is called a sustainable brand. And of course, we are very proud of this, Karl says.