vonPappe was started in 2013 in the German city of Weimar by brothers Alexander and Philipp Hollberg and Maria Seidel. Currently the team is composed of the founding Hollberg brothers, communications manager Dorit Fauck as well as additional members who look after design, web support and act as brand ambassadors. The team is very diverse with backgrounds ranging from architecture, industrial and construction engineering to management and media. What unites and drives everyone is the vision of vonPappe: Combining high-quality design with sustainability to create furniture that does not only suit a modern lifestyle but also has a low environmental footprint.
The idea to design furniture from cardboard was conceived by Alexander while studying for his masters in architecture and spending 6 months in Barcelona, Spain. After struggling to find a place to stay he ended up renting an unfurnished room. The obvious solution to the problem was to get re-use furniture from bulky waste or buy it new from IKEA. Yet the choice of re-use furniture was very limited and that from IKEA lacking quality of design and uniqueness. Not owning a car, transportation was going to be a challenge; on top of that there was the question of what to do with newly bought furniture by the end of the 6-month stay. This experience sparked the idea of creating furniture that can be customized and ordered online, delivered by mail and set up by simply slotting a few pieces together. Due to its characteristics of being light, 100% recyclable and made from renewable resources, cardboard became the preferred choice of material for vonPappe products. In 2011, in collaboration with his brother Philipp and former architecture student Maria, Alexander began product development and the search for suitable partners. The first product, a chair, was developed by building computer models as well as small-scale, physical prototypes. At an open day of the neudeli entrepreneurship centre in Weimar a child sat down on one of these small model chairs, which is how the children’s chair was born. Since the end of 2013 vonPappe has been selling the chair in three different sizes (two for children, one for adults) to young professionals, parents and event organizers. But the chairs are only the start; vonPappe has more furniture designs in the pipeline.
Our vision is simple: Combining design with sustainability to make furniture that allows for a more flexible and greener lifestyle. But how does this reflect in our day-to-day operations? vonPappe was born and is still located in Weimar, central Germany. We work closely with the local Bauhaus-Universität in order to give students, young designers and artists a chance to realize their design ideas. We care about local production of our furniture and its accessories. Therefore our chairs are manufactured by Ilmpack, a company who is also based in Weimar. This gives us the opportunity to reduce transportation miles in the production and enables close collaboration with the supplier as well as continuous quality assurance. Also our cushions are manufactured with regards to social and ecological sustainability which is why they are produced by a local tailor and we only use organic or up-cycled fabrics and organic filling materials. In order to allow customers around the globe to enjoy our products we ship every product climate neutral. High-quality design, sustainability and local production come at a price. Some of us at vonPappe are still students, so we know what it means to live on a budget. We therefore work very hard to ensure that our products make our customers happy and are worth every cent.