Posted on August 29 2019
Wood - our material of choice
Many have asked in the interest of the environment: why wood furniture, and not plastic, glass or metal? In the same interest, we chose wood (teak wood, in particular) as it is natural, and no harmful chemicals are released in the manufacture of wood furniture. Wood can always be repaired, and any unused wood can be recycled. Wood, eventually, is also biodegradable. Best of all, wood can be cultivated naturally.
The question that sadly, not many people ask, but really should: does your wood come from sustainable sources? Our answer: yes.
Illegal logging has decimated many of South-east Asia’s natural forests, which is why at Scanteak, we only use plantation teak. At plantations, a new tree is planted for every one felled. This ensures the continuity of our teak supply, and the preservation of the greater environment.
What makes wood ‘Legal’?
Several organizations and associations exist to regulate the harvesting of trees, especially for large-volume industries such as paper and packaging. The most common of these is the Forest Stewardship Council, which ensures the responsible management of forests. Another is the Rainforest Alliance, which works to conserve forests around the world by encouraging responsible sourcing.
Another, which specifically applies to wood sourced in Indonesia, is the SVLK (Sistem Verificasi Legalitas Kayu) - Indonesia’s national timber legality assurance system. Items certified via this system are traced by licences called V-Legal documents. Under the SVLK, the harvesting of wood from Indonesia’s plantations is strictly monitored to prevent over-harvesting, or even burning. Manufacturers are required to justify the uses of every single log through regular audits, which also ensures minimal wastage.
Getting products certified by any of these organizations can be a costly and time-consuming process, which deters many manufacturers from obtaining such certifications, but we believe it’s a small price to pay to keep forests safe and plantations going.
Here is a sample of one of our certifications (confidential information has been blurred out):
Leftover wood or wood shavings that aren’t enough to make into furniture are given to the local communities, which are then used in the production or creation of local products - such as smoked tofu!