Gerry-cooklin-susan-inglisI remember travelling from Vermont to High Point, North Carolina exactly 5 years ago to meet with Gerry Cooklin of South Cone Furniture, Susan Inglis of "From The Mountain" (who is now the Executive Director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, SFC) and a handful of visionaries.  Our mission was to promote forest conservation in the furniture industry.  That was Year 1 for Vermont Woods Studios Sustainable Furniture and the trip was instrumental in charting a course for our company.

 

 

Sfc-founding-member

 

I had read alot about Gerry and Susan before I attended the meeting.  To me they were larger than life– and they still are.  Five years ago though, they were the first in the industry to talk about the fact that Americans were unwittingly contributing to the decimation of endangered species of the forest (including all the big cats and great apes) by purchasing cheap imported furniture made from timber that was being clear cut from the worlds rainforests.  Their pitch was for the formation of a furniture industry group that would promote healthy, sustainable practices particularly with regard to the use of responsibly harvested wood. 

Since that meeting 5 years ago, Susan and Gerry have been successful in recruiting some 400 companies to join the SFC.  There is much work left to be done, but these two champions of the forest are inspirational leaders in the green furniture movement and we are grateful for their relentless pursuit of sustainability in our industry.

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.

Eco-furniture-hardwood What's the most organic, eco-friendly raw material for furniture?  I guess there are different opinions on this but you have to admit that wood is naturally green.  It's sustainable, biodegradable and renewable.

The National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) puts out a brochure periodically that reports statistics for the American hardwood industry.  Are we harvesting our hardwoods sustainably in the USA? 

According to NHLA the hardwood inventory in the USA has grown by 98% during the past 5 decades.  I'd say that's pretty sustainable.

Here's another cool fact NHLA cites: Wood represents 47 percent of all raw materials used in the United States but the energy used to produce wood products (including furniture) accounts for just 4 percent of the energy used to make all manufactured materials.  Wow!  It makes sense though when you consider all the hard-core industrial processing that's required to make a piece of metal or plastic furniture, right?

At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we specialize in organic, eco-friendly solid hardwood furniture that's made from local and regionally harvested wood.  To help keep our forests healthy and sustainable, we're excited to be supporting the Vermont Council on Rural Development and their ambitious Vermont Working Landscape Partnership Program as part of our forest conservation mission

I just have to throw in one last random but amazing reason why wood is the greenest raw material for furniture-making:  the EPA estimates that each year our American forests remove the greenhouse gases emitted by 139,000,000 cars!  You gotta love wood.

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.

Vermont-working-landscape Vermont is struggling to maintain its rural character.  You probably see this if you live in Vermont or vacation here.  Fifty years ago, 50% our state's land was in farms.  Today that number is only 20%– our farmland has dropped by almost 60% since 1960!

While agricultural lands are disappearing we are also seeing a decline in our forest products business.  Conversly, the amount of developed land in our state is growing rapidly (it increased 42% between 1982 and 2003).

At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we're committed to helping steward our state's rural, agricultural and forested character.  Like so many other sustainable Vermont businesses, our future depends on it.  We applaud the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and their efforts to maintain Vermont's natural beauty and rural character. We've joined their Vermont Working Landscape Partnership and are asking you to sign up too.  It only takes a minute to sign on to the partnership and there's no obligation or fee.  Add your voice and help shape the campaign for Vermont's Working Landscape!

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.

VT-Style-Furniture I guess most people don't really think about where their furniture comes from. We do at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture, and we're pretty persnickety about it.

 

Sustainable forestry is a founding principle here and a major part of our mission.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deer-in-forestOur furniture is handcrafted of sustainably harvested solid wood, ie., the wood is harvested in America from local and regional forests that are professionally managed such that they will still be around for generations.

 

Why do we care? 

 

We actually got into this business as an offshoot of a non-profit I started 10 years ago, Kids Saving the Planet KSP.   It's a project designed to make environmental education fun and engaging.  I soon learned though, how difficult it is to secure funding for non-profits so I started to think about creating a business that would one day be able to significantly contribute to KSP.  Vermont Woods Studios is what evolved.  The common thread is sustainable forestry– what I feel is one of the top 3 most important environmental issues of our time.

 

 

 

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.

Our solid wood American Modern Furniture Collection is featured on the front page of Sustainable Woods. Thanks, Nora!

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.