Made in Los Angeles, our new Rustic Wood Collection is hand made using reclaimed wood sourced from local, vintage buildings slated to be torn down and with safe, water based materials. Our spring 2017 collection includes headboards, bedframes and nightstands in four rustic finishes that suite both classic to modern design, and everything in between. We hand picked the finishes to sit perfectly with our bedding (swatches are available to order upon request.) Below, a Q+A with craftsman and founder of the company that makes Coyuchi’s furniture by hand, Trevor Webb.
Q: What made you realize there was a sustainability component to furniture design? Did you have a specific wake up call?
A: With virtually all furniture production moving to countries where there has been very little regulation over labor, pollution and toxic finishes and the continued, massive deforestation of the world’s rainforests, we knew there was a perfect opportunity to make furniture the right way. We learned that construction wood waste constitutes 28% of the waste stream in California so there is no shortage of lumber, we just need to tap into it.
Q: What has been the hardest thing about running an eco-friendly business?
A: Everything that you would take for granted to supply your production does not exist. Pioneering supply chains for reclaimed wood, developing non toxic stains and zero VOC finishes and educating your customers about the difference.
Q: What has been the most exciting part in running an eco-friendly business?
A: The same challenges have become the most exciting part. We love making new discoveries and new products, new ways.
Q: What inspires you in creating a new furniture line?
A: Sometimes it is a load of timber that we bring in with a particular grain color or an iconic design that needs to be reimagined in rustic reclaimed wood to give it a modern feel.
Q: How do you find buildings to reclaim wood from? Do you have any interesting relationships from this side of the business?
A: I have developed relationships with many construction companies who call me when they are scheduling an interesting tear-down. They see the beauty of the vintage timber and can’t wait to give it a new life to avoid the land-fill.
Q: What is one of the most unique buildings you’ve sourced wood from?
A: The sound stages at Warner Brothers Studios where The Wizard of Oz was filmed.
Q: Since launching Urban Woods ten years ago, how have your personal shopping & sustainability efforts changed?
A: I am more leary of green and natural claims that are made by companies. I understand how much effort goes into making a high quality sustainable product and I appreciate a good one when I find it.
Q: What are your ambitions in the next five, ten years?
A: We have spent so much time developing our materials and processes for manufacturing sustainable furniture that I would like to continue to grow by penetrating new markets with our products. We are like a design house for new products and designs that are sustainably made and can out perform anything that is currently made conventionally.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone just beginning to shop brands with a sustainable mission?
A: Look at the material used and think about whether it is really made in a sustainable way.Who physically makes it? How much energy goes into the process and transportation? How long will it last? Will it improve my life? Is it recyclable?
Q: Final thoughts, words of advice?
A: We are very excited and proud to be working with Coyuchi because we are like minded companies with similar values and visions. The most important advice is to care. Care about your health, our environment and other people. Caring helps you make good choices, gets you up in the morning and makes good things happen. Care and be happy!
(Above: Trevor & Anne, owners and designers or our partnering furniture factory in L.A.)