What makes something environmentally sustainable? The Financial Times Lexicon defines sustainability as:
A state in which the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.
We believe in this wholeheartedly. As our name Steel + Plank suggests, our handmade furnishings are fabricated with the materials steel and wood. We not only love the look and feel of these materials; we love how they allow us to repurpose already existing materials with care for the environment, other people, and a better holistic quality of life.
Did you know that steel is infinitely recyclable? 69% of all steel is recycled, more than paper, aluminum, glass and plastic combined! So when you buy steel you are nearly always buying a recycled material.
We use steel as the structures and frame for our furnishings. Sheet steel welded for our planters and fire pits. Bent steel to create benches, shelving and tables. Steel is sturdy, lasting, and its finish is undeniably sleek. Most importantly, its sustainable nature keeps our impact on the environment to a minimum.
Although wood is not immediately thought of as a sustainable source of material, there are many alternatives to brand new hardwood that involve reuse, recycling, and repurposing.
Reclaimed Mill Plank
Upcycled wood is often reclaimed from various sources like old factories, barns, wine casts and more. With reclaimed wood, there is both a connection to history and a special character to the wood created by time and use.
Using reclaimed wood decreases the demand of newly harvested wood from forests, protecting the vital natural habitats relied on by animals and other creatures. We use this type of wood for some our furnishings like this reclaimed white oak bench.
Bamboo is a sustainable crop because it is fast growing, regenerates itself from its roots and does not require fertilizers.
Companies such as Smith & Fong are creating beautiful wall panels, flooring and sheet material for cabinetry and furnishings out of bamboo. They call it Plyboo. This material is a lovely alternative to hardwood that is both durable and sustainable.
Sustainably Harvested Hardwoods
At STEEL + PLANK, we value sustainability because we value this planet. We give thanks for the earth and its materials by furnishing designs that both respect and highlight nature and its offerings. By handcrafting all of our designs locally in Athens, Georgia at our fabrication studio Very Dark Gray and using sustainably-sourced materials, we hope to do our part in crafting a world that works for all.