In partnership with HABE Design
What is the story behind HABE Design? What motivated you to start your own sustainable furniture workshop?
Behind HABE Design is Hanjo Bergeest. The fascination for wood grew in me very early on. Even as a child I was outdoors a lot, building tree caverns and doing handicrafts in the workshop in the cellar. I love being in nature. As a pupil I did an internship in a forester’s workshop. So I was a nature boy. After graduating from high school, I completed a carpentry apprenticeship and noticed that the job was a lot of fun for me but did not fill me completely. I wanted to study for a few more years. At that time I decided against studying design and took my state examination. The job at school was ok, but it didn’t fulfill me. I want to make a difference and touch the result. So I decided to start my own business in 2015 and found HABE.
What does sustainable furniture mean to you?
Nature is one of the best sources of inspiration for me. It works in cycles. A good example is the compost heap. Vegetables and fruit remains become earth again. The soil forms the basis for planting new vegetables. So it is a closed cycle.
This should be transferred to furniture production. So mainly use renewable raw materials and the materials which cannot be composted, e.g. metals and plastics at the end of the life cycle separate and recycle. However, it is better to dispose of furniture that is no longer thrown away. So which one uses its life long and at best continues to inherit. This saves money, resources and energy. For this, however, the furniture must have a good function and a timeless design so that it can be combined with other style epochs. This means, however, that you have to think about the design from the very beginning and combine maximum function with minimum production effort and design. So to look at things from beginning to end while keeping the ecological footprint as low as possible. For me, sustainability means using things until they can really no longer be repaired
How exactly do you define your values with HABE Design?
The aim of HABE Design is to develop furniture and everyday objects that are fun to use and long lasting due to their high quality, functionality and minimalist design. The longevity of the products and an effective and regional production within Europe plays an important role in the designs.
Everyone is talking about sustainability at the moment. That’s great, because people are becoming aware of the topic. But it is important to act and not just talk about it.
One example is climate change. Everyone notices that the weather is changing drastically. But who really does something? Each of us can make a contribution to improvement. I don’t just want to talk, I want to act.
Where do you source your resources such as wood, lacquer and oils? Tell us about your workshop.
100 percent of the wood used comes from German forests. This means that this wood is managed on a sustainable basis. So cut wood is replanted again (cycle). Everyone already knows the FSC certification. This is a good start but unfortunately it is not enough. The demand for wood has risen drastically in recent decades. Too much wood is taken from the forests. This leads to the fact that the forest can no longer recover properly and many plants and animal species are threatened. So less is more. That is why longevity is so important to me. It cannot be that we completely destroy entire forest areas just because we do not want to adapt our consumption behaviour. There must be a rethinking in our minds.
The entire production takes place regionally in Hamburg. HABE has its specialists for every area. Regional cooperation keeps distances short and enables efficient interaction. However, production in Hamburg is considerably more expensive than production in Poland or China.
In order to still offer customers a good price-performance ratio, HABE sells directly to its customers. This means that we have no middlemen apart from a few online dealers. This has a positive effect on the final price, but also makes distribution more complicated.
HABE only uses water-based paints and natural oils for the surface treatment. This means that these paints and oils do not evaporate any gases in the living space later on. Oiled surfaces can also be re-oiled by the customers themselves, which significantly increases the durability of the furniture.
Do you offer your custom-made furniture Europe-wide?
The concept of HABE is based on regionality. This means that the products are manufactured, sold and delivered in Hamburg. This ensures perfect customer service and saves unnecessary transport and packaging.
Many customers appreciate the fact that they can take a look at the production. Of course, our furniture can also be shipped worldwide if required.
What should consumers look out for when buying new sustainable furniture?
Each of us can contribute to a better world through our consumer behaviour. One should not always go for the lowest price but always compare before. Those who support regional products (Europe) act sustainably. Instead of always looking for the lowest price, we should question and compare products. Germany is an absolute pioneer when it comes to fair working conditions, wages, quality standards and environmental protection. The stinginess is horny Metalität has ruined a lot. Decreased working conditions and environmental destruction due to greed for profit must come to an end.
But this is only possible if the customer starts to question his consumer
How conscious do you live in the household?
Each of us can make a difference. I try to inspire my fellow men every day. So to consciously talk about food and products.
Everyone can contribute something positive to environmental protection and fair dealings with each other
I ride a lot on my bicycle and consciously do without my car. Movement included. Ingenious!
I buy seasonal and regional fruit and vegetables on the market. This is fresher and shopping is fun!
I always have a backpack with me for shopping. That saves money and resources.
I mainly use natural cosmetics and biodegradable household products without microplastics.
Antonia is the founder and creative director of MOCHNI. Her goal is to create an ethical future of consumerism by introducing authentic people, brands, and products and by sharing inspiring content with more than 250.000 women yearly. She loves a slow lifestyle and the Californian summer breeze.