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It seems wrong that we grow a tree for half a century only to chop it down, waste a ton of it, and use up plenty of energy to make a few pieces of furniture. Full Grown, a U.K.-based company, has a better idea. The company creates plastic molds of chairs, light pendants, and other pieces of furniture, and, in essence, has a tree grow into them. As the tree matures, it follows the path of the mold, allowing the finished piece to be created from one piece of wood—no waste, no energy used up cutting it down. The company starts by shaping and training the branches of a young tree to help them find their way through the mold. After the tree has filled out the mold, it’s allowed to mature and thicken to give strength to the piece. For a chair, this process can take up to eight years. Right now, the company has about 400 trees growing into a range of furniture that will be available in the coming years.

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