Makers & Designers
Andreu World Brings Sustainable Furniture Design to San Francisco Showroom
You know that feeling when you meet someone new who just seems to get you? They share your style and values. You’re so on the same wavelength you wonder how you ever existed apart. Well, imagine that feeling, but rather than a person, it’s a furniture brand.
Andreu World is what you always wanted a furniture company to be, but dared not to dream. And they’ve chosen San Francisco (not L.A.!) for their first West Coast showroom, a 5,000-square-foot space one block away from the Salesforce Tower, and it’s open to the public.
The family-run Spanish brand, established in 1955, is producing design-forward sustainable furniture on a level unrivaled by its peers. Many companies are producing products that are eco-minded — and we salute that — but Andreu World has thrown down the gauntlet and even the biggest green geeks will have to bow down. Not only are all of its wood products FSC certified, it’s been purposefully “ecodesigning” for more than a decade and can now tout that all of its nearly 7,000 products are Cradle to Cradle certified. CEO Jesus Llinares says, “We owe our inspiration to architect William McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart’s book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. Putting this theory into practice required the collaboration of more than 100 suppliers to ensure that all the materials and finishes of our products are free of restricted substances (BLS).”
This is design utopia, the creation of beautiful things that have a fully sustainable life span and are made from products that pose no threat of harm to the planet or our health. Oh, and Andreu World is a carbon neutral company that only consumes clean energy from renewable sources.
If you’re thinking, “So it’s good for the planet, but is it pretty?” In short, yes. The designs are minimalist without being stark, playful without being frivolous — a blend of purpose and personality. The company has long partnered with designers to bring a diversified and international influence to its aesthetic. For 40 years, some of the most celebrated designers like Patricia Urquiola, Piergiorgio Cazzaniga and Alfredo Häberli have partnered with Andreu World to design pieces. The popular designer Philippe Starck currently has a number of products in the collection, and he attended the opening for the San Francisco showroom to highlight his recent collaboration. Some favorites include Mariya, a tidy sofa with attached bookcase, and the Adela Rex chair.
With products designed to impress and built to last, it’s no wonder the showroom already has plenty of fans in the Bay Area. “We are consistently working to present a selection of universal, sustainable and democratic designs for the well-being of people,” says Llinares. In addition to numerous residential customers, Andreu World has outfitted hotels, restaurants and corporate offices all over the world, including the Pinterest and Uber headquarters in San Francisco and the YouTube headquarters on the Peninsula.
“Having the most stringent international certifications is imperative for the furniture manufacturing industry,” Llinares says, “and we will continue to set an example.” It turns out it’s possible to make your mark in the world without leaving a trace.