Chic Furniture and Gift Furniture Facts
The most frequently asked questions we receive from our customers relate to the origin of our products. Is the wood responsibly sourced? Where has it come from? How is it made?
Of course every range of furniture is different in that respect, but there is one constant in all of this and that is our desire to ensure that all of the products we sell are exceptional in quality whilst fulfilling the eco-friendly demands of our chic-loving, loyal customer base. Below we hope to answer a few questions you may have, allowing you to get a feel for how we choose our products and further down the page a chance to see how furniture is made thanks to footage taken at a traditional Vietnamese furniture manufacturer. Let’s get to it…
Is the wood responsibly sourced?
Absolutely. It is important to us that we only use furniture suppliers who behave in an ethically appropriate manner, giving back to the communities from which they take. This gives us an excellent opportunity to discuss one of our suppliers – Pijar Sukma – and the relationship they have with a Trees 4 Trees programme in the region.
Pijar Sukma supply our Montpellier, Strasbourg and Perpignan ranges which are totally exclusive to Chic Furniture & Gift. The ‘Trees 4 Trees’ programme of which these 3 ranges are part, replaces trees used in the creation of the furniture, restoring the environment and improving the livelihoods of the local communities. You can even see the location of the tree plantings funded by your purchase when you receive your items as a detailed inventory of every tree planted is kept including its species, the GPS coordinate where it is located, the farmer who owns the trees, the planting date and monitoring records.
Where has the wood come from?
Much of our furniture is manufactured in the far east, specifically from China, Indonesia and Vietnam. In Vietnam specifically, being able to craft furniture has become part of their cultural heritage. This industry is one of the biggest in the country and skilled labour is abundant. So much so, there are over 2,000 furniture manufacturers in the Vietnam alone. The country is politically stable and in Indonesia, Vietnam and China costs of production and factory rates are both low which in turn allows us to pass on lower prices to our customers.
British-made furniture is of course available from other retailers, but you can expect to pay a premium for this due to the vastly increased production costs.
Whilst the furniture is manufactured in the far east, that does not necessarily mean that the wood used has come from this region, in fact, most of it doesn’t. This is largely due to the climate in Vietnam and Indonesia which is generally hot and humid which dries certain woods to the point where they become useless for furniture manufacturing. The wood used in oak furniture ranges tend to come from Russia or the USA and pine is generally associated with New Zealand. Generally it is only the bayur and mindi wood ranges that originate from the far east as these trees thrive in the warmer conditions.
How is it made?
This is always one of our favourite questions (no sarcasm involved here whatsoever). The answer is so broad and varies from piece to piece so It’s very difficult to answer accurately, however many traditional furniture making techniques will always apply.
Many of our suppliers tend to use traditional hand-painting techniques to achieve the required look and this method is particularly useful for shabby chic furniture, allowing the painter to achieve an authentic pre-loved appearance using nothing but a paintbrush. In other cases a spray paint may be used to create a nice smooth finish. Frames of items will always be made from solid wood, often panels will tend to use veneer or plywood which when placed alongside solid wood is intended to increase longevity and prevent cracking. Instead of trying to describe the manufacturing process to you, we thought we’d go one better and teamed up with one of our favourite suppliers to bring you something a little bit different.
Whilst we do not sell this exact range, below we have a video that shows the traditional furniture crafting techniques used in a well-respected Vietnamese furniture manufacturing plant. Follow the item throughout its journey from quite literally a lump of wood to the end result, a gorgeous, chic Chest of Drawers that’s visually very similar in shape and style to some of our own furniture ranges. Furniture is of course mass-produced in most instances, but not in the same way that food and gadgets are. Each item is a labour of love for literally dozens of people and this video proves it.