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Sustainable Furniture Wood: How to Choose Eco-friendly Options

Tips & Guides Timber Knowledge
02 August 2023 min read

Sustainable Furniture Wood: How to Choose Eco-friendly Options

The world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability, and the furniture industry is no exception. As consumers, we are responsible for making informed choices about the products we purchase, including the wood used in our furniture. 

This article will guide you through choosing sustainable, eco-friendly wood options for your furniture and how Woodshop Direct can assist you in making these choices.


Understanding Sustainable Wood

Before we delve into the specifics of sustainable wood, it's essential to understand what it means. Sustainable wood comes from responsibly managed forests where trees are replanted to replace those cut-down, ensuring the forest's longevity. 

Additionally, these forests are managed to prevent damage to the surrounding environment, protect biodiversity, and support local communities.


The Importance of Certification

When choosing sustainable wood, look for certification from organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 

These certifications guarantee that the wood has been sourced responsibly and sustainably. We’re proud to say that Woodshop Direct offers certified wood products, ensuring our customers can make eco-friendly choices.


Types of Sustainable Wood

Several types of sustainable wood are available, each with unique characteristics and benefits. Here are a few examples:



Although technically grassy, bamboo is often used as a sustainable alternative to traditional wood. It grows rapidly, making it a highly renewable resource. Bamboo is also incredibly strong and durable, which makes it an excellent choice for furniture.



Cork is another sustainable option. It's harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, a process that doesn't harm the tree and allows it to continue growing. Further, cork is lightweight, rot-resistant, and has excellent insulation properties.


Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is salvaged from old buildings, bridges, and other structures. Using reclaimed wood prevents these materials from ending up in landfill and reduces the demand for new wood. Naturally, each piece of reclaimed wood has a unique history and character, adding a touch of charm to any piece of furniture.


Making Sustainable Choices

Choosing sustainable wood is just one part of the puzzle. Here are a few other considerations to keep in mind:


Buy Local

Importing wood can have a significant carbon footprint. By choosing locally sourced wood, you can reduce this impact. Woodshop Direct is proud to source many of our products from local suppliers, supporting local economies and reducing environmental impact.


Choose Durable Products

The longer your furniture lasts, the less often it will need to be replaced, reducing the demand for new resources. At Woodshop Direct, we pride ourselves on the quality and durability of our products.


Consider the Whole Lifecycle

Consider what will happen to your furniture at the end of its life. Can it be recycled or composted? Choosing furniture that can be responsibly disposed of at the end of its life is another important step towards sustainability.


Embracing Lesser-Known Sustainable Wood Varieties

Exploring unconventional types of sustainable wood can provide eco-friendly choices while diversifying your furniture's aesthetics. 

For example, rubberwood, often discarded after the tree has lived out its latex-producing life, is resilient and holds an attractive grain. Lyptus, a hybrid of two Eucalyptus tree types, grows quickly, making it a bountiful resource. Mango wood, similar to rubberwood, is harvested after the fruit-bearing lifespan of the tree has passed.

Moreover, these underappreciated types of sustainable wood can further reduce pressure on the most commonly used tree species.


Opting for Composite Materials

Composite materials such as particleboard, MDF, and plywood can be more sustainable options when made from waste wood products. These materials use wood chips, sawdust, and other byproducts that might otherwise be discarded. While the production process of these materials can be energy-intensive, choosing composites made with eco-friendly adhesives can significantly reduce their environmental impact.


Considering Furniture Longevity

Beyond just the material, how the furniture is made will determine its lifespan. Handcrafted furniture may cost more upfront, but their superior build can outlast mass-produced counterparts. Moreover, timeless designs that aren't subject to the whims of fashion trends will stay relevant longer, reducing the urge to replace them.


Engaging in Responsible Disposal 

If a piece of furniture reaches the end of its useful life, consider options like selling, donating, or upcycling it. These methods can extend the piece's life, preventing it from prematurely ending up in a landfill.


Redefining Luxury with Eco-friendly Finishes

Luxury isn't defined only by the rarity or price of the materials but by the mindfulness that goes into every aspect of a piece's creation. This includes the finishing process. 

Eco-friendly finishes, like water-based lacquers, plant-derived oils and waxes, are less toxic to the environment than their traditional counterparts and can still provide a beautiful finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood.


Advocating for Sustainable Practices

Last but not least, your role as a consumer extends beyond just buying sustainable products. 

Advocating for sustainable practices in the furniture industry can drive more companies to embrace eco-friendly options. So, share your knowledge with others and support companies that prioritise sustainability.

As you can see, the path to sustainability in the furniture industry is multifaceted. It encompasses the types of wood we choose and how we design, produce, and dispose of furniture. Ultimately, by understanding and making informed decisions, we can contribute to our planet's healthier, more sustainable future. Remember, every piece of furniture isn’t just a product—it's a choice that can impact our environment and future generations.


Woodshop Direct: We Know Wood Best

Choosing sustainable furniture wood plays a substantial role in maintaining our environment, promoting healthier living spaces, and preserving the world's forests. The option of buying responsibly sourced timber reminds us that we’re not limited in choice when it comes to furnishing our homes or offices in an environmentally conscious way. 

Moreover, by choosing sustainably sourced wood, we can enjoy the beauty and durability of wood furniture while contributing to global conservation efforts, allowing us to inhabit spaces that look good and do good. Ultimately, it’s a choice that supports the environment today and safeguards it for future generations.

At Woodshop Direct, we are committed to sustainability and are here to help you make informed choices about the wood you use.