“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”
While the above opening line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities was made famous in 1859 when the novel was first published, it resonates with the world we live in now more than ever. Earth is in grave danger and taking care of the environment is just one of many ways people are trying to help.
Jay Dillon is the owner and co-founder of Yardbird, an outdoor furniture company that is revolutionizing the way recreational furniture is made, delivered and recycled. Number one fans of the environment, the team at Yardbird is dedicated to producing the high quality outdoor furniture at great prices, working directly with their material suppliers.
“Yardbird is one of the first outdoor furniture brands to offer a direct-to-consumer model as well as the first to make sustainability a part of its core mission,” said Dillon, who along with his father Bob, founded the Minnesota-based company, which opened its first showroom last year. “I moved to Asia for a number of years to study the factories and truly understand quality control in the industry. Through our model, we are able to offer the highest quality outdoor furniture at a fraction of the price compared to legacy brands.”
Sustainability is a part of Yardbird’s overall brand mission. Yardbird’s resin wicker collections—Langdon, Elliot, Harriet and Waverly—incorporate intercepted ocean plastics in design and manufacturing. The collections are simple and classic, yet fit the contemporary style of most customers today. Dillon’s favorite piece is the Langdon Sectional, which he said is “incredibly comfortable” and what he has on his patio. He also loves the Eden Collection, which “achieves the teak look without the maintenance.”
Yardbird’s furniture is 100 percent recyclable, and when customers are ready to retire any of their Yardbird pieces, the company will reclaim and repurpose it, saving it from wasting away in a landfill. Dillon noted that Yardbird’s commitment to sustainability was inspired by the interest of starting an outdoor furniture business, as both he and his father love the outdoors and want to enjoy it for years to come, speaking on behalf of Mother Earth and the environment.
“The ongoing epidemic of plastic litter is hard to ignore, especially after spending time on the beaches in Asia. With Yardbird’s largest resin wicker set using over 120 pounds of plastics, we knew that we wanted to start our sustainability mission with incorporating recycled plastics,” said Dillon.
The brand has been intercepting plastics before they make it into the waterways, making for a collective total of 30,000 pounds of retrieved ocean plastics that have been incorporated into Yardbird’s 2018 collection. Dillon noted that about 50 percent of every handmade resin wicker set is made of said recycled material.
“We are targeting to collect over 100,000 pounds of intercepted ocean plastic to incorporate in our 2019 collection, increasing the content to 75 percent,” he said. “We have also introduced intercepted ocean plastics into Yardbird’s packaging in the 2018 collection.”
Yardbird hopes its sustainability mission encourages people to become conscious consumers and think about their overall impact on the environment. The brand also hopes to inspire other companies to be socially conscious and mindful about what materials they are using in their production.
“Our sustainability journey is constantly evolving and are looking forward to sharing the journey with our customers along the way,” said Dillon.
For more information on Yardbird and to view special collections, visit www.yardbird.com or call 877-927-2846.