Our commitment to making sustainable furniture has never wavered because, before all else, behind Raft Furniture there are human beings who care about the planet. Although atypical for business owners, when Managing Directors Mick Quinn and Heinz Frye set up Raft Furniture in 1999, they pledged to do things the right way. No cutting corners.
Knowing where to buy sustainable furniture, what materials make up sustainable furniture and quite frankly how furniture can qualify as sustainable is a minefield. So, in honour of Zero Waste Week, we're dedicating this week's blog to sustainability.
Why is Raft Furniture a sustainable place to shop for your home?
Raft Furniture is built on foundations of sustainability, transparency and ethical consumption. Your home is your habitat and we believe that everyone deserves to know where their furniture comes from.
In Indonesia, up to half of all timber is illegally sourced which means large scale deforestation that causes damage in more ways than one. Not only is this bad for the environment, it also robs local communities of resources and autonomy. This isn't right and that's why we are fighting with FLEGT for accountability, transparency and solidarity between the government and local NGO's.
All of our teak is 100% FLEGT certified, meaning that we have opted into this voluntary partnership agreement that protects the Indonesian forests and future generations. From hand making our sofas in London to using reclaimed teak, FLEGT certified timber and bamboo, we believe in doing things ethically.
Why should you choose teak furniture?
Teak is an eco-friendly choice due the natural oils that reside in it, making it pest-resistant and therefore it doesn't need any insecticides and chemicals. The fact that teak can grow without fertilisers or heavy irrigation also makes it the best wood if you don't want the production of your furniture to have taken a toll on the environment.
Naturally weather-resistant, teak is the perfect material for both indoor and outdoor furniture. With an abundance of natural oils readily locked into the makeup of the teak, it is naturally durable and won't rot. What's more, it ages with grace. Indoors you will see a gorgeous, golden grain and outdoors it takes on a silvery hue.
What makes our teak so special?
Our collection is a mosaic… as is the unique grain of the teak in each piece that we craft. Authentic, beautiful and real, the natural high-quality of the materials we use, crafted by our skilled team of artisans in Indonesia and London always shines through in the final product.
We understand the beauty of the natural teak and don't over-polish it to retain its raw and natural look. We love the 'warts and all' finish that pays tribute to the roots of the material. Humankind has had a connection with wood since the beginning of time. The tactile nature of it makes it so special and the level of skill of the Raft craftsmen effectively strikes the balance between functionality and form.
How else do we contribute to helping the planet?
Project Child Indonesia
Raft’s teak comes from Indonesia, and we have our own factory in Yogyakarta, Java, employing local craftsman to make our furniture. In 2018 we had the opportunity to work with Project Child Indonesia and put some timber to good use. We provided 100 handmade desks for the children of the Sekolah Pantai and Sekolah Sungai schools in Yogyakarta, which focus on teaching children about basic health and the environment.
Go Green: Planting trees after the eruption of Mount Merapi
Trees are so important because they are air purifiers and stand as our biggest natural allies against climate crisis. Revegitating and tree planting after the eruption of Mount Merapi in October 2010 was a priority.
The Go Green event was 10th April 2011 in the district of Umbul Harjo, Sleman, Yogyakarta. This is approximately 8km to the south of Mount Merapi's peak. There was significant damage to natural surroundings at this distance.
On the day the Raft team were among 1,650 people who contributed to the planting of 5,004 new trees of various species being planted.