Why would the war in Ukraine affect a local workshop like Unto This Last?
For 20 years, we have made furniture from Latvian birch plywood. Birch ply is a commodity, used in a wide range of industries, from buildings to ships and the manufacture of furniture.
Most of it is produced in Russia and Belorussia.
With the war in Ukraine, three quarters of the worldwide supply has disappeared overnight, generating panic-buying worldwide. The price of birch ply has multiplied four-fold. It also turned out that Latvia was importing raw timber and glue from Russia.
They are now struggling to keep production going. British importers ran out of birch ply in March, and the situation looks unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
We need to reinvent our business.
The purpose of Unto This Last is to manufacture furniture in the centre of the city at mainstream prices. Passing a massive price increase to our clients is not an option.
So, we decided to focus on what we are good at: developing products for efficient micro-manufacturing, but with new materials:
- Finnish Spruce: lighter than birch ply with a lively edge.
- German Beech: heavier than birch, stronger, aging beautifully.
Both materials have impeccable environmental references:
Thank you for your support during this transition.
We are looking forward to providing you with a new range of products: interesting, practical, and surprisingly affordable, to meet your expectations.