Being a sustainable company may be trendy now, but how do you know if what you’re buying is truly sustainable?
Our company was founded with the mission to save the rainforest. If you don’t know, we are a wood furniture company that uses only sustainably harvested wood from here in the Northeast. It’s been 10 years and we still guarantee that. Now it seems big name brands to celebrities are getting in on the action. With so many products and brands now claiming sustainable practices and resources, it may be hard to tell if the products you’re using really are eco-friendly.
To help you out, we’ve complied a list of sustainable furniture buying tips that you should consider when purchasing furniture marked as sustainably made.
- Is the furniture made of all natural solid wood? Are any components of the furniture made with plywood or particle board? Solid wood furniture will endure, often for generations, whereas particle board furniture will likely be out on the curbside in 5 years or less.
- Where did the wood in my furniture originate? Was it grown in a sustainably managed forest, or was it harvested illegally in the world’s rainforests that rapidly are disappearing? Local woods that tend to be sustainably harvested in the USA include cherry, maple, oak and walnut. If you’re looking at furniture made out of tropical and/or exotic woods, like mahogany, teak or rosewood, chances are they were illegally harvested from endangered rainforest habitats and brought to the USA with counterfeit documentation. Check with the furniture seller to be sure they know where the wood came from and whether or not it is certified as being sustainably harvested.
- Is the furniture free of toxic chemicals, dyes, stains, glues, formaldehydes, finishes and resins? This is not only an indoor air health issue, but an environmental issue as well. Look for natural solid wood furniture, with natural, non-toxic finishes and adhesives that do not off-gas. All of the finishes used by our craftspeople are non-toxic!
- Is the furniture made in the USA? American made furniture is built to higher standards than most imports which are produced cheaply in sweatshops abroad. Buying American made is not only a higher quality, but you’re also helping to bolster the local economy!
- Is the furniture backed by a lifetime guarantee? Many small and local furniture makers build their wood furniture to last a lifetime and they happily back it with a lifetime guarantee. It’s a valuable feature that could save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs over the years on the off chance your furniture would need fixing!
These are just a few of the questions we would recommend asking about your wood furniture to discover if it is truly sustainably made from beginning to end. If you have any questions about our furniture, our sustainability promise or our mission, please give us a call at (888) 390-5571. And, if you’re passing through Southern Vermont, consider making a stop into our Showroom, we’d love to show you around.
This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.