Returning to Our Roots

Updated 4/25/24

Bassett Sustainable Furniture

A Natural Connection

“Craft is the visible edge of art.” ~David Bayles

The art of Bassett furniture is as inextricably linked to our knowledge and use of materials as it is for any artist or artisan. Part of our love for our craft also includes keeping it a sustainable endeavor, with equally sustainable materials.

When you've used a natural, renewable resource for more than 120 years, it only makes good sense to assure that the resource is available another 120 years from now. That's why we commit to not only sustainably harvesting trees but also planting new ones annually. We want future generations to enjoy the special appeal of wood furniture made in the storied Bassett tradition.

Through the years, we've maintained a reverence for the lumber nature gives us. As the decades have passed, our awareness of and appreciation for the environment has grown with the understanding of our vital role in helping these resources flourish.

Respectful, Sustainable, Beautiful

Our BenchMade product line is crafted from oak, maple, and cherry trees responsibly harvested and milled in the Appalachian region. Computers scan the lumber and determine the absolute maximum yield we can get from each piece. Components are then cut to use as much of the wood as possible.

You see, most of these trees have been growing for about 80 years. It's going to take time to replace them. So we honor our duty to use as much of each tree as possible.

According to the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory Analysis, the lumber we use is sourced from forests that are growing nearly 2½ times the rate of harvest and natural loss (of trees) combined. In layman’s terms, that means the number of trees is meeting present needs without compromising the needs of future generations. And that’s the goal.

stack of logs

Bassett Furniture Cutting Boards

Going a step further, we and our lumber partners rigorously follow and respect broadly sustainable forestry practices. Just this year, we have begun using milled lumber strips that we can't use in our furniture to produce artisan-crafted Cutting Boards. Creating these boards allows us to use, enduringly, more of each tree than ever before.

Even then, the parts of the tree that cannot be used for durable goods are ground into chips, either to support other industries or to use as fuel to heat and power factories.

planting trees

Where We Take, We Put Back

Working with our sustainability partners, we plant two trees for every BenchMade dining table, bed, cocktail table, and credenza you buy. That’s an average of 20,000+ trees planted each year! Since the introduction of BenchMade in 2015, we will have planted more than 200,000 trees in the past nine years.

And we’re not simply planting acres of easy-to-grow white pine. We plant a variety of species – not just those used in our furniture – so that they grow side by side as they do in nature. By mixing the species as we plant, we ensure that a blight will not affect an entire forest. If one species is affected, the rest of trees on the land will continue to thrive and grow.

Reaching a Milestone – 200,000 Trees Planted!

Each year, a team of Bassett leaders and employees travels to the northern Appalachians to participate in the planting. Spring 2024 has our team in central Ohio to plant 29,600 trees. Among those 29,600 trees planted this year will be a milestone 200,000th tree! We have so much gratitude for the dual milestones of both your appreciation for our BenchMade furniture and our reinvestment in this treasured resource.

These annual plantings vividly remind all of us at Bassett just how dependent we are on this forest and its trees. Not only do we value it as an inherently sustainable resource, but what we craft from it is designed to be equally sustainable – our mission is to build furniture that will last as long as it took the trees to grow.

When we describe our furniture as built by hand, from the heart, it starts here in the planting fields and forests. You can feel the personal pride as you hear some Bassett folks sharing their hands-meet-earth experience:

"The saplings we planted were about 1 to 2 feet tall, and they were already 2 years old. It will take another 70-80 years before they mature into trees that can be harvested. This gave me a sense of pride in Bassett's commitment and a new appreciation for the natural history represented in each BenchMade product."

“I was struck by the passion, knowledge, and commitment of our partners who carefully plant and nurture the trees as their families have done for generations before them. Not only is Bassett helping to sustain the environment with these plantings, but we're also sustaining the livelihoods of the families in these small communities.”

“What's humbling about tree plantings is knowing that the work being done will outlive us ... so that future generations – like 4 to 6 generations from now – will have the resources available to them."

artisan shaving tree bark

Crafted by Artisans, Signed by Nature

Respect for the value of this natural resource permeates our entire process. Bassett artisans carefully craft the lumber into beautiful, sustainable furniture. The varied grain patterns, range of color, and natural markings visible and celebrated in each BenchMade product tell the story of each tree's life. Our Live Edge tops even preserve the natural contours of the tree, creating an up-close-and-personal reminder of the beauty of the forest and the uniqueness of each tree.

A Commitment to the Generations

By using time-honored techniques, our artisans transform the beauty of nature’s refined materials into special furnishings that will last across lifetimes. Their artistry becomes your future heirloom, your style. And, just as it was when the Company was founded, that’s our goal—that our BenchMade products will last for many of your generations.

Learn More About #GiveBack-GrowBack Initiative

Our BenchMade story is just one example of our efforts to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, recycle materials, and sustain the environment.