In just 14 years, the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) has grown from a seed of an idea into one of the industry’s most influential voices for environmental responsibility. Credit the rapid growth and impact to two things: consumers’ awareness of and desire for safer, more sustainable products, and a leadership group wholly dedicated and committed to sustainability.
Hundreds of domestic and international manufacturers, designers and retailers comprise SFC’s membership. Gat Creek is proud to be a founding member with Silver Exemplary status. For a complete list of Sustainable Furnishings Council member companies visit sustainablefurnishings.org.
We have all become more aware of the surfaces we interact with every day and most of us are regularly disinfecting those surfaces with all manner of concoctions from homemade to industrial strength. So are there particular formulations that work better than others on solid wood?
Your current cleaning regimen is very likely more than sufficient to maintain safety for your family. “Treat your tables like your hands. Use soap and water," said Gat Caperton. "You don’t need an alcohol-based disinfectant but if you feel more reassured using using one, that’s fine. It won’t harm your solid wood.”
Would it surprise you to learn that 86% of the wood furniture sold in the U.S. is not made here? That means the majority of America’s most familiar and famous furniture brands have chosen to export furniture manufacturing jobs. If given a full accounting, the price tags on off-shored products don’t fully reflect their costs in illegal harvesting, unsafe factories, abused workers, and environmental damage.
Our customers value the reassurances that the hardwood we use is sustainably harvested from regional forests; that our workers earn a good wage, receive benefits, have a safe and supportive workplace; that quality control is 24/7/365 to ensure their furniture is extraordinarily crafted, properly finished and is safe for their home and family; that their custom order can ship quickly with the smallest possible carbon footprint.
Almost 25 years ago, Gat Caperton bought the Tom Seely furniture factory in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. It had operated since the 1950s and was struggling to compete with brands that had moved their production to low-wage factories in China.
The Gat Creek story appeared in this 2018 Washington Post story. It’s an excellent portrait of Gat and the company. If you saw the story when it was first published, it is worth revisiting for the reader comments!
Gat Creek is fortunate to be located in the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by the beautiful forests that supply our workshop. It’s a source of pride that, through sustainable management, these forests hold more trees today than they did a century ago. Environmentally and economically, our local forests are healthy and thriving. And there is even more good news when it comes to the healthy advantages of our handcrafted solid wood furniture.
If you’re confused by what is solid wood and what isn’t, we’re not surprised. The meaning has been stretched so many ways some would have you believe any furniture that isn’t hollow is solid wood.
However, the distinction matters. For so many reasons — beauty, longevity, value, the health of your family — real solid wood is the superior choice.