In January 2019, Gus* Modern became our first furniture partnership! We were so proud to support a fellow Canadian business. Since then, Gus* has become one of our most popular furniture manufacturers!
We reached out to the Gus* team to learn more about how they started, their design process & environmental initiatives!
How was Gus* Modern started?
Gus* Modern was started by some like-minded friends who shared a vision to create an original, modern furniture collection that would combine contemporary style with mid-century modern traditions - emphasizing functionality, materials and craftsmanship.
Gus is proudly Canadian, are any of your products manufactured in Canada?
All of our products are designed in-house at our Toronto Headquarters. Our production is worldwide, with manufacturing spread among facilities in Asia, Europe and Canada. Each new design is matched with a manufacturing team that has the skills, experience, and capabilities to produce a finished product that meets our high standards of craftsmanship and beauty.
How do you test your products for durability?
The majority of our fabrics are certified independently by the Association for Contract Textiles, which sets benchmarks for fabric durability and colourfastness. This ensures that the fabrics we select for our designs not only look great, but are long-lasting. The designs themselves are typically refined in a series of prototypes, each of which undergoes careful scrutiny by our experienced production and quality control teams to be sure that they are engineered and built to last. Select products are ANSI/BIFMA rated, which is a classification that requires specific testing to be sure products are suitable for high-traffic environments such as restaurants and hospitality lounge spaces.
How does your team come up with new furniture designs?
Our design team is led by Gus* co-founder and industrial designer David Podsiadlo, who has been instrumental in guiding our approach to modern furniture since our inception.
The process typically starts with an inspired idea from the creative minds of our design team. Often it begins as an idea for something that they’d like to have in their own home that doesn’t exist in the marketplace. They work collaboratively to make sure that the design fits our brand aesthetic and that it’s thoughtfully constructed to be sustainable and long-lasting. New samples arrive monthly and these are re-worked and fine-tuned until they fit the original design criteria. The process can take years for one design to go from an idea to an in-stock product.
Gus* recently won a Peta Vegan Homeware for Innovation for their Vegan Appleskin™ Leather! We know one of your values is being eco-friendly, what are some of your environmental initiatives!
Gus* is proud to introduce a revolutionary new upholstery fill material in select sofas, sectionals, and accent chair designs. PET fill is a clean, ultra soft, long-strand fiber material that offers the comfort and feel of traditional waterfowl down, achieved through a process that benefits the environment by diverting plastic bottles away from landfills and waterways. The recycled bottles are purified and refined in several stages to create a synthetic-down upholstery fill that gives long-lasting comfort while maintaining cushion loft and shape.
Forest Stewardship Council
Gus* is proud to be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®). Many of our designs contain wood components that are FSC®-Certified hardwood, in support of responsible forest management. FSC® certification provides a verifiable way to ensure that wood comes from responsible sources, enabling consumers to make purchasing decisions that benefit the environment. Only companies that have an FSC® certification number, and that submit to a rigorous and ongoing auditing process to ensure compliance with strict FSC® standards and principles, may claim to be FSC®-Certified or claim to use FSC®-Certified wood.
Vegan AppleSkin™ Leather
Vegan AppleSkin™ Leather is a new, eco-friendly upholstery material that offers an exciting new option for customers searching for a quality alternative to leather. Formed by upcycling discarded fruit fiber into a durable covering that retains the classic aesthetic of natural leather, the material is a standout addition to our collection’s eco-friendly options.
Designed and manufactured in Italy, the material was created to re-purpose the food remnants of the country’s apple orchard and juicing industries, and to answer a global call for an alternative to natural leather. The manufacturing process combines upcycled fruit fiber - apple cores and peels - with polymers to create a biopolymer material that is vegan and OEKO-TEX® Certified. This certification means that the material has been independently tested by OEKO-TEX® and verified to meet their strict standards for health and safety.
Vegan AppleSkin™ Leather retains the look and feel of natural leather, showcasing an attractive interplay of texture, luster and refined comfort. The material is equally durable and easy to clean, resulting in designs that are both stylish and practical. Vegan Appleskin™ Leather is available in two exclusive colours - Cognac and Licorice - developed in collaboration with the Italian manufacturer to evoke the look and feel of natural leather with a distinctly modern aesthetic. The material is available on select Gus* Modern seating designs, including the popular Mix Modular Collection and Truss Chair.
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