Rattan is a popular material for furniture, but is rattan eco friendly choice? To answer this important question, one must consider the harvesting and production processes involved in rattan production. Fortunately, there are several tips on how to make more sustainable furniture decisions when selecting rattan pieces.
What Is Rattan?
Rattan is the name of a climbing vine native to Southeast Asia, Africa, and North America and is part of the same family as palms and bamboo. The core of this vine is thick and pliable; it is these flexible stems that are used to create furniture frames, basket handles, and much more. With an outer covering of dense bark and a natural waxy finish, rattan can be woven into sculptures or furniture frames.
How Is Rattan Harvested and Manufactured?
Rattan is harvested in its natural state, making it eco-friendly. After being stripped of its outer layer of leaves and bark to reveal the core, it is then gathered into various pieces which are dried and cut into different shapes for furniture frames or baskets. The manufacturing process also does not involve complex machinery or harmful chemicals so that no harm is done to the environment during production.
The Pros and Cons of Choosing Rattan Furniture.
Rattan has the advantage of being one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly furniture materials available. It is lightweight and takes up less space, which makes transport and delivery more efficient and keeps emissions lower. In addition, it’s also strong and resilient enough to last for years without needing replacement, making it a great choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. The downside is that rattan can be quite expensive due to its harvesting process, though this may depend on the particular piece you choose.
How Can You Tell If Your Rattan Furniture is Sustainable?
One way to ensure that your rattan furniture is truly eco-friendly is to look for items that come from sustainable sources. This can mean looking for furniture from companies who take the time to source it from only sustainably managed forests and/or supplier operations that strive to minimize any environmental impacts. Additionally, you can look into the type of finish applied to the rattan – many toxic chemicals are used in treating and sealing the fibers of this material, so going with natural and non-toxic finishes may be best when possible.
Other Eco-Friendly Options in Furniture Material Selection.
There are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives to rattan when it comes to furniture material selection. Bamboo, cork, and even recycled plastic are all considered green materials that can result in more sustainable furniture choices. It is also important to look into the rest of the build and make sure that any upholstery chosen is free from harsh chemicals and other concerning materials as set forth by certifications such as Cradle to Cradle for Global Organic Textiles Standards (GOTS). Additionally, many people overlook the importance of using water-based glues – formaldehyde-based glues emit emissions that are harmful to humans and animals alike.