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Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

What is Eco-Friendly Sustainably Sourced Wood?

by | Fashion as a Force for Good, Materials

What is Eco-Friendly Ethically Sourced Wood

What is Eco-Friendly Sustainably Sourced Wood? – (Read Time: 3 min.)

“Eco-friendly” and “sustainable” have become hot topic buzzwords for marketers in recent years, but what do those words really mean? For fair-trade companies who’ve been concerned about being eco-friendly and sustainable before it was cool, it means remaining committed to empowering people out of poverty and human trafficking, while striving to respect the environment as we accomplish our mission. Our Artisan partners in India who make many of our wooden home decor designs define that commitment,

“Fair trade associated organizations maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges and buy locally when possible. They use production technologies that reduce energy consumption and wherever possible, use renewable energy in order to minimize greenhouse emissions. Organic or low pesticides are used whenever possible, and all organizations use recycled or easily bio-degradable materials for packing, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.”

In a nutshell, “eco-friendly sustainability” means creating beautiful products that empower this generation of Artisans to lead their families out of poverty and human trafficking in ways that protect and enhance the environment, so our mission can continue into the next generation. When it comes to creating products made from wood, eco-friendly sustainability means choosing wood that is responsibly grown, fast-growing, easily renewable, and local whenever possible to support other industries in an Artisan’s local community.

Here are just a few of the eco-friendly sustainable types of wood you’ll love in Trades of Hope designs.

Fast-Growing Acacia Wood

Acacia Tree - Fast Growing Sustainable Wood

Acacia wood is sourced from a sustainable hardwood tree that can grow in a wide range of climates, but thrives in areas where most plants don’t, including the desert. The low maintenance and rapid growth of acacia trees makes acacia wood ideal for Artisans in areas of extreme poverty to use for jewelry and home decor. Designs made with acacia wood feature medium to dark brown wood tones with mesmerizing natural variations of wood grains and colorations, including dramatic contrasts of colors, streaks, and “curls” or “rings.”

Aspen Leaf Coaster from India - Ethically Made from Sustainable Acacia Wood
Pumpkin Trivet from India - Ethically Made from Sustainable Acacia Wood
Hawthorn Leaf Coaster from India - Ethically Made from Sustainable Acacia Wood

The natural antibacterial properties, durability, scratch resistance, and water resistance of acacia wood make it ideal for home decor that needs to do more than just look pretty. So don’t be afraid to use your acacia wood designs every day to add natural beauty, warmth, and practical style to your home.

Sustainably Sourced Mango Wood

Mango Tree - Byproduct of India's Mango Fruit Industry

Mango wood is an eco-friendly, fast-growing, hardwood that is prized for being sturdy, ideal for carving, and naturally lighter in color than many other types of wood. Mango wood home decor that’s sold by companies like Trades of Hope, a member of the Fair Trade Federation, is usually ethically sourced as a byproduct of India’s mango fruit industry. When mango trees are trimmed or replaced, sustainable growers sell their wood to Artisans, instead of burning or discarding and wasting the wood.

Mandala Bowl - Made in India with Eco-Friendly Sustainable Mango Wood.jpg

Mango wood typically features an abundance of unique natural variations of wood grains and coloration, including beautiful knots, swirls, and whirls. Because Artisans are committed to good stewardship of natural materials, they use every possible piece of wood available which often results in a wide variety of one-of-a-kind pieces of art that add artisanal character and rustic warmth to your home.

Eco-Friendly Neem Wood

Neem Tree

Neem wood is an eco-friendly fast-growing wood with interlocking woodgrains that make it renowned for its durability and strength. Neem wood is most often a byproduct of the neem fruit industry. Almost every part of the neem tree is useful. Neem fruit, when pressed, produces a fragrant oil that rural farmers commonly use as a natural pesticide. Neem twigs are often fashioned into toothbrushes in rural villages. Neem leaves are used for creating holistic medicines, shampoos, toothpaste, and herbal cosmetics, and neem oil has natural antibacterial properties that make it ideal for a wide variety of uses.

Wooden Leaf Tray - Ethically Made with Sustainable Neem Wood

Home decor made with neem wood typically features more consistent medium brown to red-brown coloration with subtle darker and lighter streaks, as neem wood is related to the mahogany family and shares many of its natural characteristics. Neem wood designs are an excellent choice, if you like more consistent wood tones and want to add a touch of classic elegance to your home decor.

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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.