About The Steel in Our Standing Desks

There’s something we’d like to share with you about the steel in our standing desks. And it involves steel of a different type.

You can’t fail to have been affected by the war in Ukraine. It’s spread a general air of unease across Europe. It’s affecting us all financially, of course. And if, like us, you’ve been following events by listening to the BBC’s Ukrainecast, you’ll have an emotional reaction to the conflict too. If you haven’t heard it yet, we heartily recommend it.

It’s not until something like this happens that you realise just how interconnected we all are. Take our FRISKA standing desks. The desktops are grown, hewn and finished in the UK. Our frames are manufactured in Sweden to give us just the right balance of exceptional workmanship and low carbon footprint (relative to shipping everything from China).

But the steel that our Swedish partners use to make the ultra-sturdy leg assemblies for our sit/stand desks comes from just a few hundred miles to the south east… in Ukraine.

Why choose Ukrainian steel?

We’ve been using steel manufactured in Ukraine since our earliest days. It’s exceptional quality – we’ve yet to find anywhere that makes anything quite so good that’s quite so well suited to our desks. It’s a major part of what makes our desks so sturdy. The one or two steelworks that deliver anything comparable are much further away (Brazil!).

The good news is that, so far, our Ukrainian partners and their steelworks have managed to stay safe. Astonishingly, they’re continuing to produce the steel our Swedish frame-makers need.

We really can’t imagine the sort of inner steel required to keep turning up for work every day when who-knows-what is happening to your country, your friends and your family. We really are very grateful.

What happens if our steel supply stops?

We have to be realistic and acknowledge that there may be a point at which our Ukrainian friends are unable to produce their steel. If that happens, we’ll have to temporarily look elsewhere. We have a couple of contingencies. We very much hope we won’t have to resort to them.

The World Bank has forecast the Ukrainian economy will shrink by 45% this year. We’re not about to pretend that our buying a relatively small amount of steel is going to address that in any significant way, but it’s something.

So as long as they keep producing it, we’ll keep ensuring Ukrainian steel remains a part of our standing desks. And, like virtually everyone else, we’ll keep hoping things improve.

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