Based in the design capital of Antwerp, Belgium, Ethnicraft designs and creates timeless furniture out of solid wood. An esteemed brand that’s celebrated for its simplicity, authenticity, and functionality, Ethnicraft has definitely kept up with the times in the last two decades it has been on the scene. We caught up with Philippe Delaisse, CEO of Ethnicraft Asia, about how the business is doing and got him to spill the beans on their latest collection.
How long has Ethnicraft been in the business and could you tell us more about its origins?
Ethnicraft is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! Our story began in Indonesia when I decided to bring back a container of furniture and interior accessories from a trip around the world, in order to sell them back home in Belgium. My longtime friend, Benoit Loos, heard about it and decided to join forces with me. Rather quickly, we decided to design and produce our own furniture and set up our first manufacturing site in Indonesia. Today, the Ethnicraft brand is considered a market leader within the category of solid wooden contemporary furniture.
What is your company’s philosophy when it comes to the business and product design?
For twenty years, we have been crafting timeless, sustainable furniture from solid wood. Craftsmanship and enduring design are at the core of our brand, and behind the simplicity in our pieces lies a constant drive for innovation. Incorporating advanced techniques to our process of creation, each new design is revised and reworked to the last detail – every curve, texture, and line reflects our design value.
What do you think contributed to the success of your brand?
Our timeless designs and the durability of our products strongly contributed to the growth of our brand. But in recent years, our innovations in wood carving techniques have also enabled us to create iconic pieces that really stand out.
We know that Ethnicraft is committed to the notion of ‘Going Green’. Please share more about your ‘Green’ efforts with us.
Sustainability is an important part of our DNA. We are deeply aware of the impact that our industry has on the environment and we take these issues to heart. Whether in the origin of the wood, the energy we use in the production and distribution process, or in waste reduction, we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Our teak wood is either reclaimed or comes from FSC-certified forests in Indonesia, while our oak wood is sourced from well-managed European forests, and our walnut wood comes from American forests with responsible planning and management. We also employ strict waste management policies that help us reduce and reuse as much as possible. For example, the sawdust from logs is reused either in the drying ovens or as a base for pellets (after compression).
How do you continue to gain inspiration for new product development?
New products are often designed with a specific intent. In the words of our in-house designer, Alain Van Havre, “In my designs, I try to convey lightness and intrigue. Lightness in the sense that a piece of furniture shouldn’t raise questions – it should bring a form of inner peace and a sense of intrigue – in how this form of craftsmanship was reached.”
Why did you choose to exhibit at IFFS and what are your expectations of IFFS 2017?
For several years now, IFFS has been a great platform for us to form lasting partnerships with quality retailers worldwide. We look forward to this next edition!
What can trade visitors expect from your upcoming showcase at IFFS 2017?
This year, we hope to surprise our clients and other visitors with a more sophisticated look, and a spotlight on our 2017 novelties. We’ll also be showcasing our sister brand, Notre Monde, which is receiving a tremendous response in Asia.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about your company and brand?
A Look at Some of Ethnicraft’s Latest Pieces
OAK BOK DINING TABLE by Ethnicraft
The Bok table assumes a soft and sensual shape, with a delicate thinness that conceals a solid construction. Incorporating advanced woodworking techniques, the complex form is achieved by sculpting and hand-finishing the slender legs, attaining an elegant twisting effect that entices the attentive eyes.
WALNUT SPINDLE BED, designed by Nathan Yong for Ethnicraft
Yong is often described as one of the most successful and influential designers of his generation. Based in Singapore, he runs a multidisciplinary design consultancy practice. He started designing the successful N chairs for Ethnicraft a few years ago and this year we are proud to launch the Spindle collection. The Spindle range in solid walnut is both classic and contemporary – a perfectly balanced collection that seamlessly blends into an urban landscape.
MIRROR CUBE TABLES by Notre Monde
Spring/Summer 2017 collection
This season, Notre Monde introduces its Mirror Cube tables. Clean, precise lines are juxtaposed with lavish, reflective surfaces, creating a compelling balance with contrasting elements.
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