Andy Dean Photography

Fast Company writer Eillie Anzilotti says that wood is one of the most valuable commodities in the manufacturing and construction sectors, but logging leads to deforestation and the depletion of resources.

Joe Luttwak, founder of Blackbird guitars, wanted to create a wood substitute that would resemble real-looking wood without the harmful impact on the environment.

He created Ekoa–a material made from just two carbon-negative materials: flax linen fiber and plant-based resin. The material is highly moldable, and both lighter and more sustainable than carbon fiber. Luttwak launched his new business venture, Lingrove, in 2014 specifically to manufacture Ekoa-based products. Wood from trees is essentially a combination of plant fibers and resin, and Luttwak wanted to create something even stronger than wood. His research led him to flax–an incredibly strong, carbon-neutral fiber that can be grown with relatively little resources. Mixed with the resin, the flax fibers form a kind of paste that the Lingrove team can then mold into whatever shape they are aiming for.

Read More