Sustainability, collaboration and a passion for local manufacturing are all essential to Evostyle. Reinforced by an inherent love of timber, this family-run Australian business sets a compelling standard for contemporary timber manufacturing with a sustainable focus.
Evostyle began as a backyard workshop in Sydney over 30 years ago. Today, it is a forward-thinking timber company run by founder Victor Ommundson’s son Luke and his wife Louise, a former architect. With Luke’s woodworking background and Louise’s eye for technical detail, the pair have cemented the company as a high-end timber manufacturer with a focus on American hardwood and sustainable practices. In the workshop, state-of-the-art machinery has a place alongside traditional methods. “All our team members joined Evostyle because they love working with wood,” Louise says. “However, we didn’t want to be stuck in the past. We could see that a combination of high-tech machinery together with hand finishing by craftsmen that provides love to a finished project was where we wanted to take the business.”
While still a family business at heart, Evostyle has expanded to a large, purpose fitted workshop on the outskirts of Sydney. The team spans cabinetmakers, CNC operators, wood machinists, polishers, programmers and apprentices, all connected by their shared love for timber and an environmental awareness. “At its core, Evostyle is dedicated to being sustainable in all our processes as well as the materials we use,” Louise explains. Adding, “everyone in our team loves timber and loves working with it, so it’s not surprising that we’re also passionate about the natural environment and preserving it for future generations.”
Emphasising this belief, the company has implemented various practices such as environmentally friendly packaging and coating systems; a tight maintenance schedule to ensure efficiency; and minimising waste in the workshop. Even with minimal waste, offcuts are inevitable. Resultingly, Evostyle uses them to make smaller products or donates them – either to the local schools or to the Hawkesbury residents for firewood.
It was the strong sustainable element of American hardwood that first drew Evostyle to the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) over seven years ago. Since that time, many collaborations and projects have ensued. Their partnership represents a strong joining of forces, fuelled by a likeness in values and a passion for sustainable timbers.
Louise cites gaining an understanding of the harvesting process and its positive impact as pivotal. “The owners of U.S. hardwood forests grow their forests on longer rotations and selectively harvest a few trees per hectare, rather than clear-felling,” she says, adding that “we were amazed to hear that more than one tree naturally regenerates for every tree that is harvested, and that families often support their children through college from the financial gain in felling trees sporadically on their property once they are over a certain size.” American hardwood species also have ample aesthetic value – another drawcard for the design focused team at Evostyle. Louise describes them as “beautiful timbers” often with “fewer knots, insect blemishes and gum veins which are so prominent in Australian timbers.”
Louise describes American hardwoods as “beautiful timbers” often with “fewer knots, insect blemishes and gum veins which are so prominent in Australian timbers.”
Evostyle’s partnership with AHEC has led to defining projects both locally and internationally. Most recently, in collaboration with Wallpaper Magazine, Evostyle was selected as one of four world-class manufacturing companies for an exhibition at the London Design Museum. Closer to home, the Oak Redefined Denfair stand in 2019 was an interactive and thought-provoking space. Designed by Australian architect and furniture designer Adam Markowitz and graphic artist Marcus Piper, the stand illustrated the beauty of American red oak and acted as a space for visitors to relax and recharge. Producing the wooden components for the 2004 Athens Olympic Torches was also particularly important. “At the time we were losing a lot of business to China, and this was the contract that kept the doors open and provided us with more confidence and opportunities,” Louise reflects.
For Evostyle, timber is not solely a material with which to work, it is a vessel for the company’s shared skills and passions. The company’s love of this natural material is demonstrated through products, partnerships and initiatives – all delivered with a devotion to sustainability.