As our furniture is hand-made, we build it in stages. Each layer of the process is integral to the quality of the finished piece. When short-cuts are taken in multiple steps to save money: paying less for labor, using lower-quality materials or pre-making components overseas, the result is a piece of furniture that may look good from the outside but has no substance inside. At Saltwolf, our furniture is both beautiful and well-built. In our case, maybe you can judge the book by its cover.
We make our frames from a combination of kiln-dried Maple and Birch. We do not use any particle board or MDF in our frames. We use traditional dovetail construction, interlocking joints that are glued and screwed vs. a stapled construction in lower-quality frames. For the seating suspension, we use a traditional 8-way hand-tied steel spring system; this is the way most furniture used to be made when it was designed to last for generations. It creates a supportive and comfortable seat that springs back into place and holds its shape over time. However, it is laborious and takes real skill, which is why most modern furniture companies don’t do this anymore. Most manufacturers use webbing or sinuous springs for their suspension. Both are sub-quality systems that will break down over time and need to be repaired or, more likely, the whole piece is thrown away. Trust us: it makes a difference.
According to the EPA, in 2017 (the most recent data available), Americans sent 12.2 million tons of furniture to landfills. That’s up from 2.2 million tons in 1960. To wrap your head around that number, let’s drop tons and make it pounds. In 2017 we Americans threw away 2,440,000,000 lbs of furniture — almost 2.5 BILLION pounds of furniture thrown away!
When making decisions about how to build our furniture, what materials to use, etc., the fundamental crux was this: furniture that ends up in the landfill has the most significant environmental impact of all. Beyond that, it’s all about tradeoffs and compromises.
So instead of telling you that Saltwolf products are “green” or “environmentally friendly,” our goal throughout our site is to tell you about the choices we’ve made, so you and your clients have all the information to make the right decision for you and them.