Sustainability

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Ever since he was a child, recycling used matchsticks off the promenade for model making, David has imbued his creativity with a sense of care. Care is the essence of craft. That care ranges from caring about the longevity of a well-made product, to caring that the owner is enriched by it and—most important of all now—caring for its effect on the environment. That caring continues to be embedded in the company today.

Being sustainable means being able to do something forever. Sadly there is precious little about our lives that can be continued forever because of the finite and limited nature of resources. In the company we do not like to talk about impossible ambitions, so we have set our goals to be:

The continual improvement
of our care for environment and people

Because total sustainability cannot be reached, it is important that we don’t rest on our laurels, but are always looking for ways in which we can reduce the detrimental effects of what we do.

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To be open and honest

about how we do this: to not just tell the stories that we are proud of, but also those that are less flattering. In the process we seek to educate customers about the issues. Doing this is not easy and presents us with the dilemmas of conflicting choices: every decision is a balancing act between an improvement and its adverse side effects. How do you compare and evaluate options?

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Material choices.

The bamboo we use is a secondary resource from Chinese plantations grown for food. It used to be burnt as waste; it is fast growing and quickly replenished—all good. But converting a round tube into a flat sheet requires lots of machining and gluing in a country where most electricity is coal-generated—not so good. In comparison, our birch ply is made from sustainably managed logs peeled into veneers with virtually no waste—good. But it is shipped from Finland—bad! Or we could buy cheaper basswood ply, also from China, but it is sourced from clear-felled virgin forest—even worse. Sadly there is nothing made in New Zealand that comes near to being of any use to us. These are the dilemmas we face.

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