Emerging Sustainable Woods
We at Haiku Designs believe in creating and designing a home that exists harmoniously with nature. Our Zen Modern collections inspire tranquility and peace through sleek, clean design and the use of natural materials. Most of our catalog features solid wood furniture, but wood harvested irresponsibly can have a negative impact on the environment. Deforestation was a huge problem in the past, but luckily many manufacturers worldwide have made a conscious effort to change practices towards those that promote sustainability and environmental friendliness. We, at Haiku Designs, are proud to offer products crafted in sustainably harvested woods, rapidly renewable resources, and reclaimed materials.
To help you on your eco-friendly and environmentally conscious journey, I’ve compiled a list of sustainable woods, so you know what to look for when on the hunt for a quality, natural product.
Cherry wood is famous in America for its rich reddish-brown color, which makes it a stunning addition to any room. The color of the wood can vary from tree to tree, and even between boards of the same tree, making every piece of cherry wood furniture unique. Cherry wood has a straight grain and fine texture, often with swirl figures that make it even more distinct and give this historic wood more personality.
Cherry wood comes from the American Black Cherry Tree, which is found across the East-coast and Midwest. These trees are very sustainable because of how local and abundant they are in addition to the strong regulations the American forest industry has. Our Copeland Furniture products often feature this stunning wood and are available in a wide array of finishes giving you the freedom to choose the ideal cherry tone for your home.
Maple wood is both strong and beautiful, making it a very popular choice for furniture. Maple tones can vary greatly depending on weather the wood is softwood or heartwood and can range from a luxurious deep red to a creamy light brown with hints of red or gold. Additionally, Maple is incredibly durable making it the ideal material for pieces that will need to endure continuous use. It generally has a fine and uniform texture, but Maple also showcases different figures such as fiddleback, curly, rippled, or the characteristic birds-eye. Our Astrid Collection is available in Maple as well as all of our Saloom Occasional Tables such as the Ace or Harper Coffee Tables.
Maple trees are native to North America, and grow throughout the United States and Canada, making them great local options. Red maple can grow all the way from Newfoundland to Miami. The Sugar maple Tree is quite literally a Canadian staple (have you seen their flag?). Because there is so much maple in North America, it’s super easy to source locally and ensure that it is sustainably harvested.
Oak is one of the most popular hardwoods in American homes, and for good reason. It’s very durable, easy to work with, and looks great with any finish, making it a very versatile hardwood that can be used both indoors and outdoors. Here at Haiku Designs, we use oak in a wide variety of our products, and I love the light, natural look it gives to our Rizma Bed. Even though its one of the most popular woods, that certainly does not mean they all look the same. There are over 60 different types of oak trees, so you can rest easy knowing your oak piece is still unique. The texture of oak depends on the type of oak, but it is generally straight-grained and uneven. This means you can see and feel the rich texture of the wood, adding to its character.
Oak trees are abundant and can be grown all over the world, which means that under the right management it can be sustainably grown. At Haiku Designs we make sure all of our oak comes from well-managed, sustainable forests, verified by the Forest Stewardship Council under strict sustainability standards. You can rest easy knowing that the oak pieces in your home are both beautiful and sustainable.
Acacia is actually a genus containing hundreds of tree species. This incredibly large and diverse genus contains species that range in weight from very light wood to some of the heaviest around. Incredibly strong and durable, acacia is noted as being resistant to scratches and water damage making it an ideal material for home furniture. Additionally, Acacia is an extremely fast-growing tree with deep roots that make it nearly impervious to droughts. Because of its durability and fast growth rate, furniture crafted in Acacia wood is not only strong and sturdy, but also eco-friendly and sustainable. Some of our beautiful collections featuring this stunning wood are the Glenwood Bedroom Collection, the Nottingham Bedroom Collection, and the Bruges Bedroom Collection, to name a few.
Sheesham is native to India and can endure severe drought, poor soil, heavy rain, extreme cold, extreme hot… everything! Sheesham not only endures crazy fluctuations in weather, it thrives despite them. Because of this, Sheesham wood can be (and is) easily grown on large plantations nearly anywhere on earth. Furthermore, this wood is exceptionally strong, durable, and is decay resistant; not to mention its striking tone variations make pieces crafted in Sheesham jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Our stunning O2 Collection is crafted in Sheesham wood!
I cannot say enough about bamboo! To begin it is not a tree but a grass: a grass that can grow to maturity within 3-5 years making it a rapidly renewable resource. Additionally, bamboo releases nearly 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than the equivalent stands of trees. ALSO, regular bamboo is 20% harder than red oak, while Exotic bamboo is 100% harder than red oak! Need I say more? Rapidly renewable resource. Releases more oxygen than trees. Harder than red oak! This material is incredible, but it is so much more: it is beautiful. Our stylish and elegant Greenington Collections are all crafted in 100% moso bamboo. Featuring a sleek and timeless, Mid-Century Modern design, the exquisite pieces by Greenington are the epitome of “green” home furnishings and allow you to promote sustainability in a lovely, classic, and functional way in your home.
Of course, finding natural hardwood furniture manufactured in a responsible way from materials that were sustainably harvested, can involve quite a bit of research. An incredible alternative to this is furniture crafted in reclaimed materials. Furniture crafted in reclaimed pine, recycled iron or upholstery, not only look amazing and vintage, but also require no new materials. Truthfully, pieces crafted in reclaimed materials are THE MOST sustainable, because they require 0 freshly harvested trees. They don’t contribute, AT ALL, to any kind of deforestation. Because regardless of how strict the regulations surrounding deforestation may be, new furniture still requires a recently cut down tree. Reclaimed furniture may not be your cup of tea, or maybe the vintage, storied character they possess would clash with your existing décor; but whenever possible, you should opt for a beautiful piece crafted in reclaimed materials. The Teigen, Dina, and Vintage Bedroom Collections, for example, are crafted in reclaimed pine. Check them out!
In conclusion, furniture crafted in natural wood is undeniably beautiful, but we have a responsibility to protect our planet or at least take an active role in reducing the damage done to the environment. A great way to do so is to be conscious of what our products are made of and seek those manufactured in a responsible way. Purchasing furniture crafted in the woods aforementioned is an incredible step in the eco-friendly direction. Sustainability is and always will be chic, but in the words of Mugatu it is “SO HOT RIGHT NOW”.