A-List: (Re)Purposeful Designs

Michigan shops tout socially responsible furniture, artwork, décor, and more


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Urban Ashes  

A picture tells a thousand words, but its frame may say even more. Urban Ashes in Ann Arbor carves sleek frame designs from reclaimed lumber. Through partnerships with nonprofits like Architectural Salvage Warehouse Detroit, Urban Ashes stops these materials from being sent to a landfill. They also hire disadvantaged workers and train them in valuable skills. urbanashes.com

 

Anton Maka Designs

 Anton Maka of Macomb frequents salvage yards and flea markets to source reclaimed materials that he incorporates in his designs. Recent work, such as his side tables, juxtapose organic materials with angular geometric forms. His lamp and lighting creations — many of which utilize repurposed pipes — are perfect for the homemaker with an industrial edge. antonmakadesigns.com

 

Utopian Marketplace

Utopian Marketplace,a virtual boutique based in Spring Lake, connects consumers to villages in India through online shipping. Bamboo salad bowls, hand-blocked table covers, and more give your home a globe-trotter ambience. Committed to supporting education and fighting poverty, owner Renee Randell works with suppliers to ensure goods are fair trade. utopianmarketplace.com

 

Metal

Ann Arbor-based Metal offers a range of hand-crafted metal objects for the home, including tables and sculptures. The company focuses on methods of metalworking that minimizes waste and incorporates reclaimed materials. Whenever possible, the company uses drop stock (leftover scrap materials), and many of the designs are created with sustainability in mind. metaloffmain.com

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages in Ann Arbor offers handmade gifts, jewelry, textiles, and more from artisans across the globe. The fair trade retailer places importance on delivering payments to artisans in a timely manner, giving up to 50 percent cash advances when an order is made, while improving the livelihood of underprivileged artisans in 38 countries. tenthousandvillages.com

 

Dickinson by Design

Whether it’s a bench of urban walnut or a table carved from a bowling alley floor, Dickinson by Design strives to incorporate repurposed materials in its elegant furniture designs and reduce waste in the process. Based at Midtown Detroit’s Green Garage, they’ve also launched Detroit Dollhouse Co., which will utilize wood scraps to create artisanal children’s toys. dickinsonbydesign.com

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