Reclaimed, Recycled & Reworked – Is Rustic Furniture Sustainable?

With industrial style rustic furniture having a real ‘moment’ this year, it’s important to look at whether that ‘reclaimed wood’ style you’ve chosen is as sustainable as it makes out. As we all strive to be more environmentally aware, the methods and materials used to create furniture need to follow suit. Some companies use the terms ‘rustic’ or ‘reclaimed’ just to signify how their mass-produced furniture was finished, which takes away from the real purpose of choosing recycled, natural materials. If you’re looking to add sustainable pieces to your home, it’s important to look into how your furniture was made. We spoke to Joe Nicholson, owner of UK furniture company J.N. Rusticus about their commitment to natural materials and their dedication to their fully sustainable ethos.

Rustic furniture bar

As a business owner, I need to ensure that the commitment that I have made to using sustainable resources is carried throughout every aspect of our work. From the materials to the process and even to our upcoming warehouse expansion which will be created from old shipping containers. Creating sustainable processes and using recycled, reclaimed and natural materials are incredibly important to us and help to shape our business for the future”

Embrace unique characteristics

“The leather that we use is sourced from India and is a by-product of the food industry. We use traditional and where possible, natural methods to treat and dye the leather that we use. We don’t shy away from embracing the natural characteristics either, these unique aspects are in keeping with our rustic brand and helps reduce our overall wastage.”

A highly sustainable cycle of plantation

“We typically use mango wood, sourced from the mango tree that is native to India and East Asia. This sustainable hardwood is initially cultivated as a fruit tree which reaches maturity after 15 years. Mango farmers begin to plant new trees every 7-15 years before the older trees become barren. This then creates a very sustainable cycle of plantation and harvest as only the less fruitful trees are chopped down for their wood. Again, the mango wood works perfectly with our quest for rustic furniture styles, with a beautiful natural grain and colour.”


A new lease of life

“One of the most common materials used in our rustic furniture is reclaimed fishing boat wood. This wood is thick, heavy and very high-quality due to its original purpose. The many years of beautifully aged texture and colour are visible in each piece of reclaimed boat wood, exposing the rich history in each board. We re-purpose the wood into rustic furniture that creates an environmentally friendly solution, by salvaging this boat wood we are giving it a new lease of life”

Unique textures that we love

“Within our collections, we use a mixture of metals and due to the nature of the pieces, we create we often use recycled steel and iron. These metals lend themselves perfectly to the distressed, rustic nature of the products and also reduces the number of processes needed to create these unique textures.
– Joe Nicholson – Owner of JN Rusticus

With more emphasis than ever being placed on the need to use sustainable materials, companies like JN Rusticus are setting the bar when it comes to responsible home decor. Their current range of products has been showcased in eateries across the UK, from their base in the North East of England to bars and restaurants in London. With a firm focus on recycling and upcycling, this family business proves that there is no room for compromise when it comes to your eco-footprint.

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