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Making good with wood

Urban Wood Goods, a furniture manufacturing business based in Gurnee, Ill., just north of Chicago, recently won an award from the Illinois Recycling Association for its use of recycled and reclaimed wood.

Owners Erin and Jason True.

Established in 2010 by owners Erin and Jason True, Urban Wood Goods is a furniture company that uses only reclaimed, old-growth wood for its products, which include desks, tables, benches, shelves and more. The bulk of this wood comes from deconstructed, pre-1920s-era buildings in Chicago, as well as old barns throughout the Midwest.

This environmentally friendly approach helps to keep these materials from going into area landfills while allowing the company to create one-of-a-kind pieces for its customers

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“Inspired by an article on recycling and repurposing, I found a barn deconstruction site to reclaim wood I imagined as a bench for my home,” Erin True writes on the company’s website. “What I also found was new purpose. I fell in love with salvaging truckloads of century-old wood to create a “green” manufacturing business and online furniture store, shipping furniture across the US. The wood embodies a lifetime of character and comfortable aged beauty, so authentic it has to be shared.”

In 2013, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Recycling Expansion and Modernization program provided Urban Wood Goods with a matching grant to help the company purchase new manufacturing equipment and a lumber kiln to modernize its production processes. With these changes, the company was able to expand product capacity, increase production volume and improve overall product quality. It also created four new, full-time jobs that led to $425,000 in increased sales and diverted 34 tons of discarded wood from local landfills.

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Contact: Urban Wood Goods, 3815 Grandville Ave., Gurnee, IL 60031. Tel: 855-966-3466.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue.

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