Handmade furniture that tells a story, and keeps schools running

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Standseven is not an ordinary furniture retailer. Each piece is made using traditional production methods perfected by local artisans. But besides looking spectacular, each piece helps fund an important social cause in the area in which it’s created.

Every piece sold by Standseven tells a story. Their furniture, accessories, and homeware are all designed by renowned architects and handmade from recycled materials from around the world. These unique luxury products, which the company calls ‘functional art’, are produced with a single purpose in mind: to aid those in need.

Owning a Standseven product means being connected to the welfare of its producer. Each piece is intended to relay a directly measurable social impact. The Stool 7, designed by David Adjaye OBE, is one such product. Each stool sold pays for one year of school fees for a child in war-torn Sierra Leone, where the recent Ebola epidemic, combined with existing low literacy rates, have made school attendance an impossible dream for countless children.

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Ikena Carreira, Standseven‘s founder, was inspired to start the company whilst filming a documentary series in Mozambique. In a rural village there, Ikena noticed that an architect was teaching the locals to produce bowls and bracelets by recycling wood and other materials. He then sold these items to luxury Italian brands.

“When I saw how high-end pieces were coming from this small rural community, I realized that something seemingly small could have an immediate—and lasting—impact.” says Ikena. “Through their craftsmanship, the artisans were funding the local children’s schooling.”

Standseven assures that all craftspeople involved earn a fair wage. They are empowered to preserve their local artisan traditions whilst maintaining fair financial independence.

Popular products include the Kala Diamonds Towels and Radhi Rugs, which are sustainably produced from ancient kala organic cotton by master weavers in Nepal, where the proceeds from the items go towards enriching rural communities.

Through a partnership with ‘Women for Women’ in Bosnia, the company have also made a series of placemats and bathmats through traditional craft techniques by women who survived the Bosnian War.

This kind of sustainable, purposeful luxury item production which benefits local populations lies at the centre of Standseven’s business ethos, which they insist sees “the marrying of design and social consciousness.”

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