Flat-pack furniture startups offer eco-friendly décor alternatives

Furniture waste is an estimated 8.5 million ton trash problem annually that global brands like IKEA and startups alike are working to address. As part of this movement, new flat-pack furniture and appliances are emerging that offer the mobile-friendly designs people crave without creating excessive waste in the process.


Floyd’s founders were tired of disposable furniture, so they set out to make products with quality materials designed for longevity but that also reflect the way people live today. Minimal assembly is required for its line of flat-pack furniture, and unlike Ikea, no tools are needed—just a pair of hands. The line features a bed with a plywood frame and a table and side table made with birch panels and steel legs for sturdiness. Products are designed in Detroit and made in the U.S., and the company offers free same-day deliver in NYC and SF.


In a bid to radically transform consumption culture, flat-pack furniture startup Pentatonic repurposes everything from DVDs and water bottles to cigarette butts and smartphones for the creation of its pieces. The company’s first line includes chairs, tables, glassware and accessories made from upcycled materials without sacrificing design for the sake of sustainability. Like Floyd, no tools are required for furniture assembly, and the pieces are also modular so that people can mix and match based on their individual preference.


In response to increasing electrical waste, design graduate Kasey Hou developed a flat-pack toaster that can be easily repaired if it breaks down. The Repairable Flatpack Toaster is Hou’s graduate project from the University of Edinburgh. Per Dezeen, she wanted to explore through her work how the lifespan of electrical products could be increased. The self-assembly nature of the product means the toaster can be easily cleaned, and when it does eventually need to be thrown away, it can also be taken apart for recycling.