Why don’t we use Teak?

Quality and design.
At this time (2024) here in the UK it’s not possible for us to purchase FSC certified plantation teak from a saw mill in the sections we need to manufacture our heavyweight bench designs.

It is possible to purchase pre-made teak components produced in Indonesia and shipped to companies world wide for them to complete the engraving and final assembly. While this approach facilitates a fast turn around, it would mean that we would have no control over the design or quality of the finished product.

Classic benches are not mass produced. They’re 100% British designed and manufactured, from scratch using locally milled, FSC certified European oak and coming soon British Larch.

Ethics.
Illegally logged teak being mixed in with Plantation Teak is a huge problem in the industry and is the reason why the FSC has withdrawn certification from a number of plantations in recent years. Even in Java where government regulations are supposedly at their strictest. This has left FSC certified plantation teak a scarce resource worldwide and Indonesia keep the majority of it for their own manufacturing.

Not all teak is equal.

Burmese Teak
Burmese teak on which the reputation of this incredible material was built, grows in lush biodiverse tropical rainforests whose soil is rich in silica. The heartwood of these massive, old growth trees is one of the most uniform and highly durable wood available on our planet. And It is still available but only just, ugly deforestation, illegal logging and industry human rights abuses are all reasons why so many, ethically minded manufacturers of furniture strive to find alternatives.

Plantation teak
Plantation teak on the other hand is fast grown in very different, monoculture conditions. Harvested early (often under 30 years) this produces a lower grade of wood. These smaller trees produce much smaller sections of heartwood and there are often streaks of the much softer sapwood running through it.

There is a place for plantation teak, we’re glad it’s available and we dearly hope that governments in the countries where it’s produced will do more to stamp out illegal logging which results in the tragic deforestation and loss of such precious, irreplaceable habitats.

On balance and in all good conscience, as a manufacturer of the finest quality memorial benches we’re not only unable to but also choose not to use plantation teak at this point in time.

We invite you to take a look at our customer testimonials.