During one of the cold winter days, we met with friends for an afternoon tea. We sat down at their new, but antique style dining table – a solid wood table, crafted from a reclaimed elm wood antique door, encased in a solid elm wood frame. “It’s made from reclaimed age-old elm wood, recycled from a traditional Chinese village house”, my friend mentioned with a smile. I was hooked on the idea of giving this kind of high quality wood a second life, not only because the wood used for this table did not go up in smoke, but also because some of our natural rainforest resources were saved by not needing to cut down a healthy tree to make this table. I wanted to learn more about the history of this table. My search started at SofaSale, the retailer where my friend found her table. Surely, they’d be able to tell me more about recycling wood into furniture. The SofaSale website gave me some information, but I wanted more details. I met with the Dutch, Hong Kong-based entrepreneur Arno Nieuwland, father-of-two, to discuss the history of their Eco-Series concept. Arno explained that they have been on a long search to find good quality wooden furniture for their export business. Inspired by the Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek, they were specifically looking for recycled wood furniture. By late 2010, they gave up their search for a quality supplier and started their own workshop in China. “Here we design and craft our own furniture. Given the fact that, sadly enough, there are lots of village houses knocked down in China’s rush to develop more new property, we decided to recycle and reuse the age-old elm wood beams and doors from those knocked-down houses. We love the natural character of the wood, and even though we receive enquiries to use newer wood, for our Eco-Series concept we stick to the recycled elm wood principle”. I fell in love with the Eco-Series concept, and will have to discuss the budget at home to replace our current table! For more info: www.sofasale.com.hk/collections/eco-series.html recycled elm wood furniture