Outer Products3 min read

Why Responsible Design Is Worth It

Why Responsible Design Is Worth It

As a small company trying to do things the right way, we consider every single aspect of the products we make. Responsible design guides our decision making, and we always go the extra mile to create meaningful, durable outdoor living solutions, for you and the planet.

Here is how we infuse this thinking into every chair we make.

We are crafted, not manufactured

Manufactured items are machine-made, so they are all exact replicas of each other. Crafted items are made by the hands of skilled artisans; no two pieces are exactly alike.

Crafting our products benefits you (the customer) and the people who make them. Here's how:

People make our products

People are behind every piece of furniture we make, not just machines. We appreciate craftsmanship; it takes years to achieve this level of excellence.

We pay all our employees fair wages, offer health insurance, and create a safe and supportive working environment. Every chair purchased contributes to someone’s livelihood.

A master weaver at our factory in China

Sustainable solutions are better for the planet

We’re not satisfied with the status quo. We think outside the box, and also get our hands dirty to make these solves work. Innovations in design and material science paired with hands-on testing led us to a product that’s recycled, recyclable, and all-around better for the environment.

The premium quality shows

Crafted pieces are known for their quality and uniqueness. Subtle variations in raw materials, the slub in organic fabrics, small touches implemented by hand — these all add character (and a human element) to every piece.  

It takes 1 ½ days to make a single Outer chair

Sounds like a long time, right? Crafted does take more time, but the end result is 100% worth it.

From sketch to reality

Below, we break down every aspect that’s done by hand.

Steel frames cut by hand

Each steel frame is hand-welded

A factory worker hand-cuts the frames. They then spot-weld the frame to ensure each piece is at the right 90-degree angle. Finally, a worker then bead-welds two pieces of metal together, which guarantees durability, and that the bead welding is aesthetically clean.

A master weaver makes each chair

The region in China where we produce our chairs has a history of bamboo weaving that dates back centuries. We employ master weavers to assemble each chair with our proprietary all-weather wicker. It takes nine hours and 1/3 mile of wicker to make one armless chair. To make a corner chair, it takes 11 hours and 1/2 mile of wicker.

Fabrics and cushions are hand sewn

We test (and re-test) fabrics constantly

A slubbed fabric is created with slight knots and knobbles, which can be seen as thicker, raised threads on the fabric surface. These 'imperfections' give the fabric an organic look and feel.

We’ve designed our machinery to create a slubbed fabric, and our craftsman provide the final touches by cutting and sewing each cushion.

As you can see, the journey from initial sketch to your backyard isn’t nearly as quick and easy as pulling something off an assembly line and shipping it to your door. However, the benefits are incomparable. You get a product that lasts for at least a decade, and you support a sustainable, eco-friendly supply chain in the process. We feel this is a win-win, and we’ll continue to push the boundaries of design innovation to bring you products that fit the bill.

Find out more about why our outdoor sofa is unlike any other, thanks to things like our OuterShell, our cushion comfort, and our rust-proof frame and legs.