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Mobile: Alan Cooper
We are very concerned about the environment and make every effort to work responsibly and sustainably.
We are sometimes able to obtain locally grown English timbers where appropriate. To use it exclusively, however, would be unrealistic, due to Britain being a highly populated small island. It therefore makes sense to use American or European oak and other woods and veneer, or, if appropriate, mdf based materials as well, especially for partly hidden items like internal shelves, to reserve our precious resources for the areas where they will be most appreciated. Our ancestors had the same conservation and economic intentions when they used thinly cut veneers of the best parts of the most valuable trees. For centuries England has imported timber, mainly from countries with lower density populations [including oak where in the second half of the C17th it was reserved exclusively for ship-building*]. We also believe that there is a place for veneers in furniture, and sometimes use them if appropriate. Plywood or MDF cored boards for example have stability advantages near heaters.
FSC timber is available for many species from our suppliers. We fully endorse the resistance of tropical rainforest deforestation.
Alan and Carol support both the Woodland Trust and BBOWT on a personal level, who are committed to purchasing, conserving and planting indigenous hardwood forests. Alan‘s workshop in Ford in the winter uses the wood shavings, sawdust and off-cuts as the only method of heating, which is very effective and Alan Cooper Cabinetmaker Ltd. holds a license to do this from the environment agency.
We consider that one of the most environmentally friendly aspects of our work is the fact that the furniture is built to last. If you consider first consuming the raw material, then all the processes in preparing, transporting, manufacturing, packaging, transporting finished product and installing; if all that is done just once in 200 years, where the alternative would be to perhaps manufacture cheaply 10 times in the same 200 years, our made-to-last approach is very soft on the environment indeed, and thus gives the trees time to grow to replace our product. Fitted furniture made to last can enhance property values and attractiveness. We use little packaging, preferring to protect the furniture with thick felt underlay for deliveries.
We also reduce our emissions by mainly operating in a limited radius of about 25 miles. We believe that looking locally first offers advantages for everybody.
*Ch 2 of Colins Nutshell Books ‘Antique Furniture’ by J.W. Mc Donald 1965.