Happy Sustainability Day! From day one sustainability has been a key mission in our company. We started by taking materials from illegal dumping sites around the city to make small home decor products. Now our operations are much larger as we are taking box truck’s of material from old buildings and construction sites weekly!
But our mission has stayed the same, to keep as much raw material out of the landfill as possible.
Luckily we were fortunate enough to have Google come by to showcase our business and how we have been able to adapt in these challenging times, while not compromising our values. We were able to show them around our business and city. And got to talk to them a bit about how we started and where we see ourselves going.
One of the projects we were able to build while they were here was this awesome Oak bar we found in an attic here in Hamtramck. The homeowner was selling their families house and they had stored this bar, in pieces, in their attic for decades.
It came out of their families old Polish Funeral home in the old Poletown neighborhood on the eastside of Detroit. He said the bar was in the basement of the funeral home and they would have ceremonies there after the funeral. It is an amazing piece of history and craftsmanship. We knew right away that it was missing some crucial parts. And needed a good cleaning / stripping to reveal it’s hidden beauty. We try not to use any harsh chemicals when stripping wood in our shop. A lot of old antique pieces like these, late 1800’s / early 1900’s, used an alcohol based stain and sealer. So it can be easily removed by rubbing denatured alcohol on a rag and scrubbing the finish away. After we removed all the old finish we had to replicate some delicate trim pieces and the whole backside of the bar. We used all reclaimed Oak to reproduce the trim details. And we used some reclaimed Douglas Fir from an old school gym bleachers to reproduce the back shelving.
We couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out. It is ready to last another hundred years. And it will keep some of the spirit of the old Poletown neighborhood alive.
Poletown was mostly wiped out in the 80's to make way for a new GM plant. A plant that had been shut down for the last year as well. But it’s these sad land mismanagement that we’d like you to think about on Sustainability day. What can we all do better as a society to be less wasteful. Do we really need to wipe out hundreds of homes and countless dumpsters full of infrastructure just to make a few cars? Construction is one of the most wasteful industries around, but if their practices aren’t checked nothing with change. -WT