Sustainability Lacks Marketability.

Local is better

I published this video 1 year ago before we even opened our doors. If you’ve watched it already it’s worth a revisit. If you haven’t seen it then I highly recommend it. One year later I have a better understanding of what I instinctively knew from the start and what, I believe, consumers instinctively know as well.
The tag line on our website says “Supporting Local Communities and Promoting Sustainability”.
Makes sense. Right? Not so fast. Our store has been open since November and I have searched for a simple answer to the question-

What is a sustainable wood product?

The word sustainable as relates to wood does not tell you much more than the notion that some organization somewhere deemed a piece of wood sustainably harvested.

It doesn’t tell us the quality of the wood. It doesn’t tell us where the wood came from. It doesn’t tell us where the money goes.

It does not inform you that carbon emissions increase based upon distance traveled.

It does not tell you about the workers involved along the way.

In fact, the premise that a consumer would ask for a sustainably sourced piece of wood based solely upon a moral compass without tying other factors that make a product marketable and relatable is, in my opinion, lacking.

This is why we, at the Lumbery, are promoting Local Lumber. We know for a fact that local lumber is of a higher quality. We know exactly where the wood comes from and we know exactly where the money goes.

I have had customers come in and say “I need some more of that Maschino’s pine flooring. It is so good.” And, “Next time you head up to Hopkin’s please grab some more of the wormy butternut.”

These simple statements reflect something so much bigger. The consumer is able to specifically associate a quality product with a mill. They know how far the wood traveled and they know exactly where the money goes.

And here is the best fact of all. Local lumber in Maine is sustainably harvested!!!

In conclusion-While we still will definitely 100% support all efforts at keeping forests around the world sustainable we feel that increasing consumer awareness as to the benefits of buying local wood will resonate more loudly and create superior connections with the product which in turn will create greater demand for the product.

Who knows. Maybe someday you’ll walk into Lowe’s or Home Depot and see a section of wood that says LUMBERY CERTIFIED. Now that is a certification I can truly get behind.

For more information on local lumber I highly recommend visiting the Local Wood Works site. It is so good.


Michael Friedland and the entire Lumbery Crew AKA Ents.

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