Everyone needs furniture. 

But, the furniture industry has a massive environmental impact.  The vast majority of furniture made today is made from timber, steel, foam, polyester and other carbon-intensive materials. 

Plus, it’s bulky and heavy to ship, adding footprint just getting it to your home. It seems obvious too that the bigger the item, the bigger the footprint.

Unlike the hardwood heirlooms of two centuries ago, most furniture produced today will simply end up in landfill in our lifetime, where it will be burned or rot down. Either way, it will release even more greenhouse gases.   In fact every year, the average Australian household discards up to 24KG of furniture waste, of which non-recyclable items like laminates make up the majority.

Not good.

What does Beach & Wood do differently?

At Beach & Wood we aim to flip the switch on furniture’s footprint.

We take rattan vine, which is a fast-growing carbon trap, and amplify it into a positive force for climate action.  Using rattan, we make robust & timeless furniture designed to last for generations.

We then arrange for new trees to be planted for every item purchased – and the bigger the item the more impact our customers can generate. 

Fundamentally, we believe that designing your home interiors with Beach & Wood should enable reforestation, atmospheric carbon reduction and the elimination of waste from fast furniture. Basically, the exact opposite of ‘normal’ furniture.

That’s our goal, and we are well on the journey. There’s still more to do to achieve our vision. 

Take a look at our progress across various areas below.

Here's what we're already doing

Timeless Design

Fast furniture is like Fast Fashion, just a lot heavier! 

We think it’s irresponsible to design items that will look dated 10 years from now. All our pieces are designed by our team in Australia to be timeless.

The goal is to create generational items that are handed down from one family to the next, the way it used to be.

Rattan Revolution

Rattan is not timber. It’s a fast growing palm vine, native to rainforests in places like Indonesia.

That means that no trees are cut down to harvest the raw materials, in fact rattan needs the support of mature trees to climb. 

It grows quickly, and without needing additional water, fertiliser, or pesticides.  It’s a bit like bamboo in that regard, except it’s solid, which makes the resulting woody material a more effective carbon trap.

Finally it can be worked by hand, with little power requirements.

It truly is a more sustainable option.

Furniture for Forests

‘Sustainable furniture’ usually uses timber from FSC-Certified managed forests.  Much better than the alternative, for sure.

But no matter which way you cut it, that’s still trees being chopped down.  Even fast-growing Radiata pine takes 25 years to reach maturity.

Trees are widely regarded as being one of nature’s most effective carbon traps.  So, is it really in our interests to cut them down?  We don’t think so.

Our plan is quite the opposite.  With Furniture For Forests, we plant new native trees with every item we make (remember, we don’t take any in the first place).  

And, we’re flipping the switch again.  Everyone else says the bigger the item, the bigger the footprint. We say, the bigger the item the bigger the impact. 

Every item on the store has a Tree Stamp which tells you how many trees will get planted via our partners at Ecologi with each item you buy.

Go crazy, furnish your whole house in rattan and know a
small forest is springing up in your name!

Towards Carbon Neutral Shipments

There are a few great postal and logistics companies in Australia doing great work to reduce their fleet’s footprint and offset the rest.  Australia Post and Sendle are two great examples.

Unfortunately, due to our items being so big, it costs a bajillion bucks to work with those companies.  As a result, for the moment we work with removalists to get the product to you.

What we can do right now is calculate the carbon kms of our deliveries, and purchase offsets to make that carbon neutral.

Taking Out The Trash

One of the biggest bug-bears of buying new furniture is the mountain of plastic it comes wrapped in.  From foam padding to plastic wrap, bags, PET string, you name it, you have to get rid of it in the red bin.

We’ve done away with all that. Instead, our items are wrapped in recycled paper and cardboard, with paper tape.

Everything you receive can be put in the domestic paper
recycling bin.

Made to Order (preorder)

Just like Fast Fashion – Fast Furniture has a massive overproduction problem.

One of the fundamental principles of operating sustainably is that we don’t make (a lot) more than we sell. That means we don’t harvest more vine than we need, and we don’t ship products that nobody wants, especially the bigger items.

For that reason, many of our more exclusive and larger items are made to order.  We make them specifically for you.

Making Rattan Perfect

It’s amazing, but it’s not perfect. There are two areas we’re exploring long term:

  1. Rattan (and most wood furniture) is typically coated in Poly Urethane varnish.  While it’s only a microscopically thin layer, we don’t like the idea of that being put back into soil 5 years from now.  The flip side is, it really does help make the vine more durable.  We’re exploring options for vegetable based sealers.
  2. The curing process for rattan involves being soaked in diesel vats.  This is a closed loop process, and the diesel is used many times in the vat before eventually being used to power generators etc, but it’s still not perfect. We are just starting to explore other methods for curing, but the reality is that’s a multi-year project.