Old Wood, New Use – Eco-friendly Hardwood Furniture

After hosting several largish parties at our home last week and experiencing a chair shortage, my husband and I decided the time had come to bring some more chairs into our furniture family. Whenever we are in need of furniture we buy one brand and one brand only – Tropical Salvage. We discovered this Portland-based company when we bought our house three years ago. We needed to furnish our new home and found most stores could not tell us the source of the wood for their products. We could only assume this meant the wood came from an endangered forest in some developing country in South America or Asia, which unfortunately is the source of much wood used in furniture sold in the U.S., even when the wood is acquired illegally.

Tropical Salvage’s creations are made in Indonesia from hardwood salvaged from the bottom of rivers, volcanic debris or from demolished buildings. The wood is beautiful, full of minerals and rich colors.  Each piece is handmade by Indonesian craftsmen who receive fair wages (Tropical Salvage is a member of the Fair Trade Federation) so you know both people and the planet benefit from this gorgeous furniture. Their products are well-made, each piece is unique, and the prices are no more than you would pay for other lines of high-quality hardwood furniture.

Our home is a bit of a Tropical Salvage showroom. We have a custom-built TV cabinet, a sideboard, our queen-sized bed, a dresser, a rocking chair and now 4 kitchen chairs. We like knowing the furniture we use everyday left the forest intact and gave people an economic opportunity they may not have had otherwise. We get more compliments on our Tropical Salvage pieces than on any other furniture in our home.

There are several spots in Portland where you can buy Tropical Salvage including Eco-PDX on N Interstate, Ten Thousand Villages in the Pearl District, and at Tropical Salvage’s location on SE Division and 11th. The furniture is sold in various stores throughout the country so contact Tropical Salvage to find a location near you.