Month: August 2016

Waste and Recycling

While cities around the globe grapple with ways to reduce waste through the promotion of recycling, Dapwood Furniture is proud to say that as a long-time certified B-Corporation and members of Green America, the Sustainable Furnishing Council, and the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, we have all along been actively engaged in improving our community and planet through an aggressive recycling program.

Recycling must be more than an advertising slogan and/or public relation campaign, it must be in the DNA of business. Today’s environmentally responsible companies must be engineered around responsible management of one’s waste and manufacturing by-products. It must be more than simply paying a waste management firm to take care of it or dumping scrap in recycling bins. There is so much more can be done when a company takes a serious look at what it produces and institutes policies and procedures to minimize or eliminate waste.

For the past decade, Dapwood has refined its processes and engineered its products with the express purpose of eliminating any environmentally harmful waste- there are no VOCs, toxins or pollutants anywhere in our operation. In addition, nothing remaining from Dapwood’s crafting operations, ever finds it’s way into a waste site. Nothing! Ever!

All wood “fall-off” is sorted. Perfectly good but skinny pieces are glued together to make wider pieces. Shorter pieces are donated to community help centers and schools to be used by students in wood working projects. Local artists and craftsmen utilize Dapwood as a resource for their artistic efforts. Even our tiny cherry and oak wood scraps are sought out by local back yard barbequers and “smoke” enthusiasts for flavoring their cooked meats.

Dapwood like any woodworking operations generates a significant amount of sawdust and shavings in the crafting of our platform bed frames and accessories. We go through the process of painstakingly sorting sawdust by type of wood species since some woods are not suitable for all purposes. Dapwood has cultivated a unique network of gardeners and horse enthusiasts who regularly utilize the sawdust from our shop as it is prized for use in their passions- be it bedding for horse stalls and corrals or supplementing their gardening soil.

Native American philosophy reminds us that we should leave no footprints as we pass through the forest so our children and their children have a place to call home. Dapwood Furniture has always behaved this way and actively work to insure that we leave no stains for others to address.

Quality Solid Furniture vs. Planned Obsolescence

As a retiring Baby Boomer, I am increasingly frustrated by the accelerated obsolescence for various products we purchase. I remember the days when you could bring a television or small appliance to a local Mom & Pop repair shop. It was cost-effective, fast and didn’t generate waste. However, over time, small repair shops began to be replaced with national repair service in which you had to send product in for repair. It wasn’t as fast or convenient but it still minimized waste. More common these days, repairs are, by design, no longer possible. Consumers must toss the old and buy a new one. Unfathomable amounts of money, time and resources are lost to the hemorrhaging landfills.

I recently came across an online story regarding this disturbing trend of “planned obsolescence

In short, the inability to repair is a consequence of the global economy: cheap products made across the globe using proprietary technology is producing products with a short life that have to be replaced frequently.

This trend has become more prevalent in the fine furniture industry as well. Gone are the days when mass marketed furniture could be taken to a craftsman for repair. To exacerbate the situation, most furniture available today, even models in fine furniture stores are no longer made with “real” wood, but rather engineered wood-like products comprised mostly of compressed saw dust and adhesives finished with a wood veneer or imitation wood laminate. And like the small appliance or computer, once it is damaged, it cannot be fix so you are forced to toss it and buy another.

At Dapwood, we believe true value and lasting beauty is still possible if you purchase furniture made with “real” wood. The natural beauty of American hardwood never goes out of style and the inherent quality of wood furniture can last many lifetimes.

For 30 years, Dapwood has been making our furniture by hand and will not give into the trend of cheap, disposable products. We give each piece the care and attention to detail it deserves. And should it suffer damage during a move or through use, there is no need to worry- Dapwood products are always repairable. Because of our unique modular construction, repairs are as simple as ordering a new leg, side rail, table top or even headboard panel. No need to replace the entire piece, simply call us and a replacement is a week away.

So while consumers like myself will continue to miss the day when an appliance, shoe, furniture or car part could be repaired, we can take comfort in knowing that Dapwood products are still built and serviced to last a lifetime- and then some. We hope other generations will understand that planned obsolescence rarely benefits the consumer and is not a sustainable option.