Let’s be honest. Trying to live a healthy, clean life is not easy.
We are under constant pressure to buy this and consume that. Fast food is everywhere. Highly processed foods are cheap and toothsome. Sugary drinks are offered in our schools and office buildings. It is hard to put up defenses and make a concerted effort to put the healthiest foods in our bodies. [Don’t get me wrong, I am not a 100% kind of person. I don’t think anyone can (or should) live on organic kale and water alone. Like most things in life, we need moderation.]
As difficult as it is providing our bodies with clean energy, we ultimately control what we put in our mouths. Our other major requirement for life, oxygen, is even harder to ensure it is healthy. Most of us do not live in a bubble or have “clean room” quality HEPA filters in our homes, work and automobiles. Simply going to the store or to a friend’s house can expose us to unquantifiable amounts of pollutants that enter our body through our lungs.
Luckily our bodies can tolerate some chemical exposure. While direct links of exposure to specific toxins and diseases are being documented in our medical community, the underlying truth is that sustained or increased exposure to chemicals does change our bodies and never in a good way (unless maybe you happen to be Spider-Man). We need to make a concerted effort to breath in the best quality air that we can.
While we cannot control what our politicians do or don’t do with our environment, we can control our homes which directly impacts the air we breath for large parts of our day. While there is much to think about and research regarding drywall, paints, flooring, HVAC filters, etc., it is also equally important to think about the items what we place in our homes.
In our global economy, home goods are shipped to and from every corner of the globe. While there are legitimate concerns about the energy required to move products, factory conditions for workers, fumigation of imported goods, etc, we want to point out that these products can have a direct impact on your indoor air quality and ultimately what you “consume” through breathing.
Furniture today is marketed by very clever people who categorize us all by demographics, income, psychographics, age and so on. They are able to drill down to their intended targets and snare us with keywords while wholly ignoring what the product consists of and how it will affect you with long-term exposure. While supporters of this approach simply brush it off as simply caveat emptor, this is disingenuous and dangerous. Like food, consumers have the right to know what goes into all products that they purchase so they can make an informed decision. Marketing information does not do this.
From the get-go, it is important to understand that most furniture produced today is part of an “economy of scale” industry. What is meant by this is manufacturers buy large quantities of raw materials which lowers their cost per unit. With this approach, the incentive is to sell volume since no one in their right mind would want a warehouse full of cheaper raw materials collecting dust. This volume approach leads to cost reductions by shaving a few cents here and there with raw materials costs. While we at Dapwood take no issue with using our resources in the most efficient way, in practice the outcome typically leads to cutting of corners. Or another way to think about it…if the business’ short-term measuring stick is lower costs which increase profits, what happens to long-term product safety and quality?
If you want to get a sense of this, go to any big-box store and take a good look at the furniture. Ask a salesperson (if you can find one) what is this furniture really made of? Is it marketed as “real wood”? What does the term “real wood” really mean since there is no agreed to definition of it? Is wood dust with glue considered “real wood”? Is it marketed as “solid wood”? Is this “solid wood” from hardwoods or softwoods? Or is it a veneer or simply a name of stain? You need to fully understand what you are purchasing because industrial products, more often than not, contain adhesives, binders, fillers, plasticizers, coloring and top-coats that off-gas over time into the air that we breathe.
At Dapwood we believe we have a better and healthier approach. Our ingredient list is simple:
- Natural, solid hardwoods straight from American managed forests
- Small amount of steel for structural integrity of joints
- A heavy dose of craftsmanship
That’s it. There is nothing else unless you would like to add an all-natural Linseed Oil finish to further protect and show off your wood’s natural beauty.
While we can never be the lowest price furniture around, those that search out bespoke quality, Dapwood is already an extreme value. But more importantly, when considering personal well-being, you need to ask yourself- what is your health worth?