Etsy, the online marketplace where creative entrepreneurs can set up storefronts to sell their own products, launched in 2005 with the goal of creating an online retail space that would build a more fulfilling and lasting world.
So it’s no surprise that its 200,000-square-foot headquarters in the Dumbo neighbourhood of Brooklyn would be filled with toxin-free paint, salvaged wood, and furnishings purchased from Etsy sellers. In August, the eco-friendly office was recognised with an Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design. It was one of seven international winners.
The roughly 500 employees that work in the Brooklyn office are free to roam the nine-floor complex, finding a comfy spot to set up camp and work remotely away from their desks.
Last summer, we got a tour of the refurbished building the Etsy team calls home — scroll ahead for the photos.
In 2016, Etsy moved from a 106,000-square-foot space to its new headquarters in Dumbo. The new space is a two-building setup that's nearly twice as big, at around 200,000 square feet.
Before the big move, the company sent surveys to its employees, asking them to name their preferences and needs for the future office. Quiet spaces such as this one were big on the list of requests.
But in the official dining hall on the second floor, Etsy employees can chow down on locally catered meals twice a week. They have coined the program 'Eatsy.'
Employees are encouraged to attend daily meditation sessions and weekly yoga classes in the 'breathing room.'
Monthly craft nights are a major event at the Etsy offices. Teachers are invited to host workshops on everything from sewing to weaving and printmaking.
In fact, about 50% of the furnishings in the entire building were made by local artists and Etsy sellers.
Environmental sustainability was a major consideration in refurnishing the building. Etsy has been a certified B Corporation since 2012, which means that it is held to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance.
Etsy collaborated with various manufacturers to ensure that everything, from the carpet to the paint, didn't contain the harmful, toxic chemicals that are commonly used in commercial office buildings.
All in all, it vetted more than 1,500 items to avoid things that contained harmful or toxic chemicals.
All of the wood within the office was either reclaimed or Forest Stewardship Council-certified, which means that it came from responsibly managed forests.
A large bike storage room encourages employees to take a carbon-neutral commute into work. There are also showers on-site.
The water is kept in a large storage tank that connects to an innovative irrigation system that also helps reduce runoff and flooding in the neighbourhood.
Solar panels on the roof power about 1% of the building; however, the remaining 99% is also powered by local, renewable solar power sourced from a remote location.
Large windows that allow ample natural light are expected to save the company approximately 80,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year.
Art collections consisting of Etsy products can be found on various floors, including in the lobby of the 'Etsytorium,' an auditorium for both private and public events.
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