April 3, 2008


by Kirk Fuller

Pacific Rim Woodworking, Inc

Is it Local? Eugene, Oregon and Bozeman, Montana. Sold local in San Francisco, California

Is it Fair trade? sustainable wood frames, pure latex foam and pure wool batting.

Is it organic? The company uses Western Maple grown in ecologically managed forests in Washington and Oregon. The wool is grown in Montana and comes from a certified organic sheep farm.

Is it non-toxic? Each bed features a non-toxic, oil-based, hand-rubbed finish — or they can be ordered unfinished.

Is it green? This company strive’s to use every possible board foot of maple, donating the smallest off-fall to local schools and community centers for woodshop projects or low-income families for heat during the winter months. Recycling bins can be found in our offices, lunchroom and shop. Their sawdust is recycled into compost at a local lawn and garden center. They have a strict maintenance schedule for our machinery to minimize replacement needs and often opt to fix a machine rather than replace it. In cases where replacement is necessary, the company states that they scour the secondary markets for the perfect “gently used” tool. Note: Cost of fuel to run mills and farm as well as other transportation issues not available at time of this report.

In conculsion, based on the company’s commitment statement my impression is their approach to

producing furniture products is a noble effort especially in a market that is very competitive.

However I believe that the pricing of the product is so high that it will exclude the mass market that

truly needs these products produced in this manner in order to have a greater impact. Perhaps with

time and greater support pricing will begin to be more affordable.

Try the lists of products that have been third-party certified by Greenguard (, Green Seal ( and Scientific Certification Systems ( http:// Greenguard and SCS deal specifically with air quality, while Green Seal also examines environmental impact. The Sustainable Furniture Council ( is an industry partner without independent testing, but its 120 or so members represent a good place to start shopping and asking questions; all of their links are on the council’s site. Some of the better-known names include American Leather, Century, Harden, Lee Industries, Palecek and Room & Board.

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