Fair Furniture was founded in 2012 by Joris van Balkom out of love for sustainable design.
From an early age Joris had a strong interest in nature and foreign cultures. This brought him to different places in the world, ranging from the spectacular Solomon Islands to the colorful Mexico. Choosing to study Tropical Forestry and Nature Management at Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences, was therefore a logical step. There, he developed his interest in nature and learned all about the sustainable use of natural resources. Because he wanted to develop his commercial and professional skills after graduation, he founded the technical wholesale company Elektrolas. He managed Elektrolas, often on the go, from different places in the world so that he could continue to feed his love for traveling.
During his stay in Mexico, Joris first came into contact with the Acapulco chair, the now famous design icon. Meanwhile, he had begun a course in traditional furniture making, and in 2012 the urge to follow his dreams was so great that he decided to fully focus on sustainable furniture. After selling his successful business, the time was right to launch Fair Furniture. Since at that time Joris was residing in Andalusia (Spain), the first step was to introduce the handmade Acapulco chairs from Mexico on the Spanish market.
After a successful start with the Acapulco chairs in Spain and online sales in several European countries via the website www.sillaacapulco.com, the product range was expanded in 2015 to include own designs. In collaboration with the Spanish designer Nuria Pérez www.nuriaperezdesign.com, several new designs were developed, including the Zahora table and Kahlo lamp. These product designs are based on the same minimalistic material use as the Acapulco chair. At the same time products were added based on natural materials such as cork stools that are handmade in Huelva, Spain.
Because sustainability was the key element for Joris at the launch of Fair Furniture, the focus was increasingly placed on the use of natural materials. Thus the Hemp chair was born, as a natural variant of the original Acapulco chair.
In 2015 in Bali, Joris came into contact with materials such as rattan and bamboo as a sustainable alternative. Visiting Green Village and Green School in Ubud brought extra inspiration because it shows the many forms and possibilities of working with bamboo. In 2016 in Ubud, a collaboration began with Ahmed Mohiuddin. His technical background, enthusiasm and attention to detail, combined with the endless possibilities of the island of Bali, resulted in a completely new impulse for Joris and Fair Furniture: a new design was created – The Ubud Chair – developed entirely in Bali. This new lounge chair, created in cooperation with the local craftsmen, is made from local and pure materials. In 2017 the Ubud Chair will be available in Europe.
Joris is currently looking into new uses and applications of other natural materials. More specifically, he is exploring the possibilities of biocomposites based on natural fibers such as hemp and bamboo, and further possibilities of cork.
His goal? – Creating affordable designs made of mostly natural materials, supplemented with recycled and recyclable materials. In order to provide a sustainable alternative in today’s throwaway, the designs are made in such a way that, even when used outdoors, they remain beautiful for at least 10 years.
Joris is convinced that there are infinite possibilities in creating lasting and beautiful furniture. Want to stay informed about our new developments and designs? Follow our website and social media.