The paradox between deforestation and the perpetuity of the wooden furniture industry
The wooden furniture industry and the depletion of natural resources are not two sides of the same coin. At least, it doesn’t have to be, for it is possible to use wooden resources sustainably. In fact, woodworking is by far not the main cause of deforestation, but rather humanmade forest-fires for cattle raising and palm oil harvests are the biggest issue.
That does not, though, eliminate the responsibility of furniture making in deforestation as trees are still being logged. For positive change to happen, there must be synergy between woodworking professionals, designers, architects, and homeowners to help protect the environment.
The best place to start is by not buying from companies that are illegally and unsustainably plundering forests. It seems simple enough in theory, but, once faced with the option, often the cheaper unendurable choice is made. Companies that harvest wood illegally are not marketing their criminal behaviour, which makes it each individual’s responsibility to do background checks on their suppliers. Investigate everything: the suppliers, the reliability of the organizations that certifies sustainable foresting practices, and what your local government believes to be a “green standard”. Not all wood harvesting is negative, it can be good for woodlands if it is done properly. But sadly, it is not the case most of the times, so governments need to take strong action with deforestation laws to protect the forests from bad practices.
Consumers should opt for pieces made locally. When less travel is done, less of an environmental footprint the goods will have in the long run. Also, it is necessary to mention suitable ethical labour standards when talking about sustainability. Because fair-trade is not just about the environment, consumers must be made aware that workers need to be treated correctly. To mention a few standards that should be adhered to: liveable wages, reasonable resting time, health and safety checks, provision of clean water and facilities and many others.
While cheap and replaceable furniture might seem like the most convenient option, they are the enemy of the environment, the workers, and your long-term economic goals. Good quality and durable furniture can have a lower cost per use and are nicer at the end of the day. The environment, the workers and your pocket thank you.
We firmly believe in the sustainable utilization of wood. The material has a long life and should be reused as much as possible. When it is no longer suitable for use, it is easily recycled to perpetuate the use of the materials already extracted from nature.