Meet the Makers - Kolekto
Where we tell the story behind the brand. . .
KOLEKTO's STORIES IN STRUCTURES series, architectural-designed wooden toys that focus on aesthetics, imagination & good craftsmanship. Only working with sustainable materials Kolekto creates timeless & durable toys that evolve with a child’s imagination. The high level of craftsmanship is apparent in each piece which is handmade at their Copenhagen workshop, creating products that can survive for generations & accompany a child into their adult journey as an eternal childhood memory.
How did the idea for Kolekto come about?
As a designer and an architect with a great interest in and love for design/art/sculpture and architecture as well as a respect for good craftsmanship, we wanted to make a toy collection that could combine these elements in a playful way. We wanted to inspire a kid's creativity and challenge their imagination By playing with open-ended toys you have to create the game, the universe and the story yourself.
Can you tell us a little more about the wooden toys you hand-craft & where they are made?
Most of our toys are for adults as well as for kids. We make toys that can grow with a child and be enjoyed on many different levels. We want our toys to challenge, develop, inspire and stimulate so the value of the toys will grow with time – the marks on the wood will become memories, the feel and the look of the toys will change over time, and so will the way you use them.
We make every toy in our studio in the city centre of Copenhagen. You can see our products are made by human hands, and we believe it will bring value and another level of appreciation that its made by man and not a machine. They are not the result of an assembly line production. Thus, there will always be a slight variation in all our products, as a result of the man-made, some will think that these man-made tracks are an expression of error. We believe that these traces give a product more value, the imperfect makes the overall experience more sensual and integrated. For us, it is important to keep production in Denmark. Although we love the big wide world, there is something charming about goods being produced locally and for us, it is a great value to be involved in the whole process from idea to the finished product.
Where did you draw inspiration from for your stories in structures range?
The world around us. It's an ongoing process – we are creative and curious!
If you had to sum up the ethos of Kolekto in a few sentences what would they be?
''We create stories in structure, wooden toys handmade in Copenhagen in sustainable materials, created in the field between sculpture, art and imaginary play – for children and adults.''
What do you pay attention to when you’re sourcing the materials you use to make your products?
We only want to use sustainable materials and we constantly explore new possibilities for how natural and sustainable materials can be used in our designs. We work primarily with wood. All our wood is the FSC brand. We use plant varnish, organic paint, walnut oil or linseed oil for surface treatment.
How do you build ethical & sustainable values into your designs?
We develop/produce products where there is a minimum of waste and we strive to ensure that our products have a life-long lifespan. We use every millimetre of our tree. Every drop of our organic paint or plant varnish. We re-use everything we can and the products that are being second-sorted, we provide free for different charity purposes. Nothing is thrown away! Instead of packaging, all products are delivered in a handmade box, on which one can get engraved a name or a personal greeting, this reduces waste, but more importantly, this makes the product more unique and creates a greater degree of attachment. It becomes a design object you want to take care of and hopefully pass on to next generations.
If you could offer any advice to others seeking to create change what would it be?
Start small, change habits, believe what you do does make a difference.
What's your hope for future generations?
That they have the ability to make the political changes needed for a better world.