What is the most sustainable table? No table at all, of course. And while we love our customers, we don't want to see them back every five years for a new table. In our minds, this is true sustainability. For this reason, we went to the ends of the earth to find the best woods for our collection. Learn about the journey of our woods, from tree to table.
From tree to table
What is a Class I Hardwood?
The natural durability of wood is categorized in five classes, ranging from I (high durability) to V (low durability). We only use species that meet the requirements of durability Class I. This means that, when exposed to normal outdoor conditions, they last for at least 25 years! In principle, only tropical hardwoods such as Iroko and Jatoba fall into this category, but the thermal treatment process undergone by our Hellwood upgrades it to durability Class I.
Wood Species: Ash
PEFC Certified: Yes
Extremis Hellwood is wood that has been through hell and has come back stronger and ready to tackle all kinds of ordeals: UV rays, rain and acid rain, fluctuating humidity levels, frost, extreme heat and so on. This wood is baked in an oven at temperatures up to 200 degrees Celsius for 2 days. This preservation technique gives the fibers greater internal stability and increases their resistance to decay. It changes the molecular structure of the wood, taking it from a class III to durability class I hardwood just like the very best tropical woods. An attractive side effect of the process is, of course, the wood’s dark color.
Wood Species: Iroko
Origin: West Africa
FSC Certified: Yes: Gargantua & Abachus
Our permanent attention to human rights and sustainable forest management limits our choice of materials. This yellow to medium brown tropical hardwood offers high stability in the radial direction and has just the properties we are looking for. With regard to aesthetics and physical properties, Iroko most resembles the better known teak, whose origin is often dubious given the high demand.
Wood Species: Jatoba
Origin: South & Central America
FSC Certified: Yes
For the entire Extempore range and the Romeo & Juliet bench we have opted for the warm reddish-brown Jatoba. This tropical hardwood is FSC-certified. It offers superior, vertical strength and stability.
All wood contains tannins: yellow, brown or reddish organic compounds that are part of the wood tissue. On initial contact with rain these pigments can bleed out of the wood for a period of time (depending on how much and how often it rains). The compounds are completely natural and water-soluble and will disappear from any surface after a little time and exposure to the elements, such as rain and sun. Don’t fret, let it set.
The wood type is customized for every design in the Extremis collection, with a view to low to no-waste production processes. Tables that beg for greater vertical strength are made from Jatoba, strong horizontal planks call for Iroko. But, in an effort to create furniture that lasts, the baseline for every design is its Class I – II durability.
We seek to reduce our carbon footprint by using solar energy exclusively to produce the electricity for our manufacturing process, and we fight deforestation by offering the option of FSC-certified wood on some of our collections. A growing market for FSC-certified wood means that more of the world’s forests will be protected and that responsible forestry will become the universal gold standard, thereby benefiting local communities and preventing reckless deforestation.