Matt and Steve Loftice could not be more different when it comes to personal taste, but luckily these two resourceful bros do see eye-to-eye when it comes to saving New York City's discarded wooden relics from the landfill. Sort of like the Odd Couple meets genius craftsmen, these founders of Recycled Brooklyn troll through the streets and dumpsters of New York City, finding salvageable lost treasures and transforming them into custom-built, handcrafted pieces of furniture. Building everything from desks and credenzas to full-on dining sets for the new Upper East Side location of The Meatball Shop, these sustainable siblings have made quite the name for themselves as super heroes of reclaimed design.
Recycled Brooklyn began almost accidentally. Matt and Steve took to building their own furniture out of necessity, until their original pieces started catching the eyes of their friends. After Matt had built a desk out of a reclaimed wood door and some discarded pipe he found in his building’s courtyard, a visiting houseguest was enraptured with his design and requested a piece of her own. It wasn’t long until the orders for custom pieces started piling up. The brothers knew that they were destined for a new career, and there was plenty of material for the taking.
“All you have to do is walk to the super market to get a bag of groceries and you walk by a dumpster filled with hundred and fifty-year-old wood beams that are going right into the landfill in Staten Island,” Steve says, “and that’s ridiculous.”
Matt and Steve now have a full line of furnishings mixing all types of found materials, from salvaged floor beams, to steel and raw concrete. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and though certainly not terribly affordable when compared to the average IKEA find, the designs are comparable to original pieces of the same quality and a terrific buy for someone looking to make an investment, support the local economy, and keep beautiful and valuable resources out of our landfills.