Affordable Outdoor Furniture from Ocean Plastic

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  • Yardbird is an eco-conscious outdoor furniture startup.
  • The hand-woven wicker in Yardbird furniture is made from plastic salvaged from the beaches of the Philippines.
  • While comparable sectional sets can cost around $5,000, those from Yardbird cost less than $2,500.

As the weather warms up again, it’s just not good to spend the whole night after work or the whole weekend cooped up inside.

We’re not saying you have to go far to enjoy the warm sun and cooling breeze. If you have a backyard, you can have a wonderful, relaxing time, with a drink and a book in hand, or with friends and neighbors on speed dial.

Until recently, new companies entering the direct-to-consumer space focused on everything inside your home – mattresses, linens and towels, kitchenware, furniture, and more. Considering we spend the majority of our time indoors, that made sense, but if you wanted a new store to upgrade your outdoor space, it was hard to find.

Yardbird, founded in 2017 by a father and son duo, is the direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture company you’ve been looking for. Obviously that’s what others have been too because it sold $1 million worth of inventory less than a month after launch. In 2018, he sold $4 million worth of inventory just a few months into the year.

woman lying on large black yardbird frame section while reading a book

bird yard

The beginnings of Yardbird and the manufacture of its furniture

Curious to find out why high-end furniture companies charged at least $5,000 for an outdoor wicker sectional, co-founder Jay Dillon spoke to his father who had experience in the furniture industry. Eventually, Dillon ended up in factories in Asia, where over 95% of all outdoor furniture is made. There, he was offered products at one-seventh the retail price, and he knew there was potential for a business.

What makes Yardbird even more remarkable isn’t just that it sells stylish, high-quality outdoor furniture for less. It’s that the parts are durable, made from intercepted ocean plastic.

As outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to enjoy the outdoors for years, the Minnesota-based founders sought to create products that reduced human impact on the planet. Dillon had heard of major brands incorporating recycled plastics into their products, but found that the process took too many steps and the resale prices for the plastic were too high.

Instead, he met directly with plastic experts and established relationships with a recycling plant in the Philippines. Together they spent three years collecting plastic from beaches, waterways and other sensitive spots in the Philippines. In 2019, the company constituted 92,000 pounds of plastic in its pieces and packaging.

According to Dillon, this is how the plastic goes from floating on the shore to a Yardbird piece of furniture. “Once the recycling plant has processed the plastic, we then ship it to our wicker extrusion plant and make weatherproof outdoor resin wicker from the plastic, then weave it. by hand on the frames,” he said.

Although it may look like traditional wicker, the Yardbird product contains 50% recycled plastic (it reached 64% in 2019) and lasts longer. As an eco-friendly company, Yardbird also partners with Carbon Fund to offset 100% of its carbon footprint, and its packaging contains 50% recycled materials.

Apart from the weather-resistant wicker, the other furniture components are also strong, durable and backed by impressive warranties.

The commercial-grade aluminum frames, which come with a 10-year warranty, are lightweight and rust-proof. The foam cushions are comfortable and supportive, and they’re upholstered in a high-performance outdoor textile called Sunbrella, which is water and sun resistant. For a closer look at this fabric, you can order up to three free samples from the site.

dark brown wicker yardbird chair with beige sunbrella cushions

bird yard

Yardbird’s other services and policies make buying these big pieces of furniture easy and convenient, including a 30-day return policy and free curbside shipping on orders over $1,500 (a flat rate of $95 $ applies otherwise). Buying outdoor furniture is a big commitment, but Yardbird makes it less of a headache from start to finish, from its high-quality furniture collections to care and maintenance tips.

On the Yardbird website, you can shop by collection, which categorizes furniture by style or type, such as loveseats, sectionals, and dining sets.

If you’re ready for some new outdoor furniture that’ll let you enjoy your backyard or patio, consider Yardbird’s stylish options.

Shop all outdoor furniture at Yardbird here

Here are our favorites from Yardbird below:

About Oscar L. Smith

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