joining sustainable materials and technology since 2013
building a better future
Other companies sell plastic cases with wood veneer, or reclaimed or recycled plastic which is originally made from Oil and petroleum by products. Nothing is better at storing carbon than wood. KerfCase wooden phone cases are cut from solid wood.
Our commitment demonstrates the urgency to preserve the environment while encouraging customers to make environmentally conscious purchases to reduce waste. Our mission drives all of our decisions - from the materials we use, to the building we occupy.
Wood for the win
Wood cases require less energy to produce than aluminium or plastic, and on top of that wood continues to store carbon for years, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Carbon stored by wood products offsets nearly all of the greenhouse gas emissions related to their production.*
Even recycling plastic is not as environmentally friendly as some people may think. “When you are recycling plastic you use too much energy,” said Nadege Nzoyem, Central Africa manager of the conservation non-profit Rainforest Alliance.
our roots go deep
Made from 100% natural wood, by their nature every wooden KerfCase is unique from all others. From the cases themselves to the 100% post-consumer recycled packaging, we obsessively reuse and recycle as much as we can. Avoiding waste isn’t just good business; it’s the right thing to do in our increasingly disposable world.
"Material is at the core of all the design choices we make. The materials we work with are a reflection of ourselves."
Sourced locally and ethically
Our partnerships include Urban Tree, which rescues felled trees in the Pittsburgh area, local mills in Pennsylvania, and specialty lumber suppliers around the United States. They provide us with beautiful, local wood that does not rob the planet of oxygen and shade. Our exotic hardwood collection is not sourced from countries that exploit their natural resources or deal in endangered species. We monitor wood for ICUN Red List Staus and avoid these species.
When it all started
Unsatisfied with existing cases, Ben spent an evening in the wood shop of Carnegie Mellon University's architecture school and created a case for his new iPhone 5 from a reclaimed windowsill.
Launching the idea
Over the course of six months, the original design was extensively revised, tested, and revised again, and word spread from friends and family to the internet.
After seeing the demand for a sustainable product made from local and natural materials, Saks founded KerfCase in 2013 and began the process of making cases at scale.
Building the first woodshop
In 2015, KerfCase grew too large to operate without a dedicated space of their own. The company moved to the former Mine Safety Appliances building, a converted historic factory which houses over 30 artists, startups, and small businesses. With space to grow, Ben acquired a full suite of specialty machines and hired a small team of local artists.
New Kerfcase HQ
In early 2020 we moved the KerfCase HQ to Wilmerding PA, a small manufacturing town about 12 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh.
Our new facility is in a historic building that was built as a social hall and spent nearly 80 years as a church. We have re-purposed the building into our design, production, and office space.
Reclaiming an entire abandoned building and preserving it's heritage spoke to our mission.
After nearly 10 years with our original logo, colors and website - we decided it was time for a refresh and upgrade to properly position the company for the future.
We partnered with Swiss design agency Melriver to create a new brand identiy for KerfCase.
better for the planet
Made to order
Our products are made to order and ship within five business days. This helps keep our footprint small, and drastically reduces waste. Keeping a large inventory of finished products creates waste when phone models change in a yearly cycle. By keeping our wood supply in raw lumber it reduces the risk of un-sold product.