Bio-material innovation Woodio will soon be available to everyone, as a greener choice
According to Juha-Matti Luhtasaari, CSO, it can also offer a more conscious option for retail spaces.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
September 21, 2023
In recent years, Finnish material innovations have become an international topic of discussion, also under our own management. One pioneer in the field, that has also secured widespread international recognition, is Woodio. The products are manufactured using aspen in chip form and wood chips produced as a side stream of the forest industry. The shape of the product is created by pouring the material into a mould, with resin used as the adhesive. It’s significantly less energy-intensive than competing materials: the carbon footprint of a washbasin made from this wood composite is up to 80% smaller than that of a ceramic basin. Hard work pays off since Woodio has experienced a great interest and received numerous awards, both in Finland and internationally, including the Fennia Prize in 2020.
The company recently secured a total of €16.3 million in growth funding for scaling up its business and expanding into international markets. At last week’s design fair Habitare in Helsinki, Woodio also extended its range, at the request of its customers, when presenting Solid. Until now, the brand has been known for bathroom fixtures such as washbasins, toilet seats, and bathtubs. For instance, last spring, Woodio Block received a substantial amount of attention in international media as the first wood composite toilet seat.
Solid is a wear-resistant, multipurpose sheet material made of wood composite that combines innovation and durability. The ambition is to give products made of it an elegant and timeless look so that they can be suitable for both traditional and modern interiors — and everything in between — and be treated in the same way as other wood-based materials.
— We’ve received many enquiries about the use of the material from international pioneers, from clothing and furniture giants to car manufacturers. Now, at last, we can offer it to everyone interested. It offers an alternative to a very traditional sector in which we can see room for a sustainable, wood-based material innovation, says the company’s CSO Juha-Matti Luhtasaari. He continues:
— Solid was developed in response to a demand for creating unique solutions from our material for bathrooms and other spaces in homes and public settings. It allows our customers to implement different kinds of customised solutions using a material manufactured sustainably at our factory in Helsinki.
According to Luhtasaari, it can also be a great choice for shelves and other applications in store concepts.
— It can replace many traditional alternatives and, as a recognisable material, the sustainable choice is also visible, he says. For the past year, we’ve been collaborating with Finnish woodworkers to develop new techniques for utilising the Solid sheet. The material is easy to work with, which allows us to create a wide range of solutions with furniture professionals. We will continue to work together with sales channels providing furniture solutions to make the material widely available to consumers. In the future, we plan to make the most of the properties of our material by expanding into kitchens, for example.