Dezeen Magazine

Stolab's wooden Lilla Snåland stool is made from manufacturing waste

The final instalment of Dezeen's three-part Stolab Stories video series explores Stolab's approach to waste and the origin behind its Lilla Snåland stool, which is made from waste wood produced during manufacturing.

Established in 1907, Stolab is a Swedish manufacturer of solid-wood furniture. It produces seating, tables, storage and accessories using wood sourced from the forests surrounding its factory in Smålandsstenar, Sweden.

In an exclusive video interview with Dezeen, Stolab owner and CEO Martin Johansson explained the story behind its Lilla Snåland stool, which was designed by Swedish designer Marie-Louise Hellgren.

Stolab's Lilla Snåland stool and two Prima Vista chairs around a table in a contemporary residential interior
The Lilla Snåland stool was designed by Swedish designer Marie-Louise Hellgren

"It's a beautiful product, and it's even better when you know the story behind it," said Johansson.

"About six years ago, we met up with the designer Marie-Louise Hellgren [who] was looking for upcyclable material," he continued.

"We went past the production of the Lilla Åland seat, where we cut off these small triangles. We sent a bunch of triangles to [Hellgren's] studio and she came back with a product idea of a small stool."

Close up of the Lilla Snåland stool's composition
The stool is made from 14 triangular offcuts of birch wood

Hellgren's stool makes use of the waste material produced from the manufacturing of the Lilla Åland seat. It is composed of 14 triangular offcuts of birch heartwood supported by three legs.

The triangular offcuts had been a continual point of discussion for the brand, as pieces often would get stuck in machinery and cause disruption to the manufacturing process. Previously, they had been pulverised and thrown away.

The Lilla Snåland stool comes in two options: a version treated with natural oil, which gives it a warm finish, and a more neutral-toned version treated with white oil.

Multiple Lilla Snåland stools in a pale, industrial interior setting
The stool can be finished with natural oil or white oil

Stolab aims to mitigate its environmental impact and prevent unnecessary waste by creating durable furniture that can be made from byproducts of its manufacturing processes.

"Since a few years back, we've been working with a concept called reduce, reuse and restore," explained Johansson.

The company aims to abide by these principles through reducing the amount of wood taken from the forest.

Close up of the Lilla Snåland stool finished in white oil
Stolab aims to follow the principles of reduce, reuse and restore

Swedish designer Marit Stigsdotter, who is a long-time collaborator of Stolab, described wood as an "extremely useful" material that is "naturally recyclable in itself."

The company also reuses any offcuts or products that become faulty during production, or reuses those that have been returned by customers, to form new products.

The materials or products are then restored and put back onto the market. The brand describes its products as "easy to restore" and, to support their longevity, has created a group of dealers that can carry out repairs and restoration of its products.

Dezeen and Stolab launched Stolab Stories in September, starting with a video focusing on the brand's key designs and celebrating 80 years of its Lilla Åland chair.

The second instalment explores Stolab's heritage and expertise in creating solid-wood furniture.

Partnership content

This article was written as part of a partnership with Stolab. Find out more about our partnership content here.