Furniture made from teak wood is a good buy for Singapore’s humid climate. Not only does it look great, but it’s water-resistant (thanks to the closed-pore structure of the wood) and incredibly durable. Teak is also naturally oily, which means it repels water and helps prevent termites and decay. Buying newly logged teak may not be environmentally friendly, though, so we asked a few good furniture stores in Singapore about their teak furniture and accessories from a sustainability angle. Here are some recycled and reclaimed options, as well as items made from new teak from monitored sources.
Independent retailer Naturalis Historia has some beautiful reclaimed teak items. The collection reflects an old-world elegance but is created for modern living. You’ll find furniture and accessories for every room here. All are made in Central Java, but the finishing, fitting and brass embellishments are done at the store’s Hillview studio in Singapore.
The main collection is made from reclaimed or recycled teak. And, if there’s something you love but can’t find, the store can create the perfect customised piece. Choose from reclaimed teak or any other local Indonesian wood – all following your design and budget constraints.
As firm believers in fair trade, the Naturalis Historia team ensures competitive wages for all its craftsmen and suppliers. They also champion zero waste and the reduction of non-biodegradable materials in the supply and demand chain.
48 Hillview Terrace, #07-02
6909 3464 | nhteak.com
Woody Antique House
Originating from Indonesia, Thailand and Burma, Woody Antique House’s indoor teak range includes coffee tables, study desks, dining tables, chairs, bar counters, sideboards, bookshelves, TV consoles and also beds. When it comes to the outdoors, you’ll find teak products including tables, chairs and benches.
By using recycled teak that comes from old houses in Indonesia, Woody Antique House helps to cap the number of new teak trees being cut down each year. In addition, the store ensures its supplier is certified annually for its sustainability practices. Meanwhile, the mature teak timber in its products comes from Thailand and Burma. It’s purchased through legal channels from the Thai government, depriving local illegal loggers of business.
13 Dempsey Road, #01-05
6471 1770 | woodyantique.com
Scanteak sells much sought-after Scandinavian-styled teak furniture for the living room, bedroom, dining room and reading room – items that can make a perfect addition to an elegant home.
As teak is such a precious resource, the Indonesian government strictly monitors harvesting. This is to assure the sustainability of teak plantations by allowing only a small number of trees to be cut down each year. A verification system, known as SVLK (Sistem Verificasi Legalitas Kayu), ensures the logs are legally and ethically felled. Each felled tree is also tagged with an ID, so that SVLK officers know exactly how each part of the log is utilised. Scanteak only uses teak from these sustainable and responsible sources. It also ensures that even the smallest pieces don’t go to waste.
60 Sungei Kadut Drive
6368 2802 | scanteak.com.sg
Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing
Gallery 278 specialises in bespoke, custom-built furniture. If you’ve ever had a good look at teak up close, you’ll know why the store chooses to craft the majority of the range in reclaimed teak. It has a rich and beautiful patina, and it lasts. The complete home range by Gallery 278 is designed right here in Singapore. Artisan carpenters then handcraft each piece in Indonesia.
There are other solid woods available too. These have been sustainably harvested then properly kiln-dried and fumigated (which countries like Australia require for import). The forests and plantations are managed according to strict ecological guidelines. Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing is also part of the Tree4Tree programme. For each tree that is cut down for furniture, one more is planted in its place.
And another benefit of the store’s solid teak wood collection? It’ll last for generations to come. According to the Gallery 278 team, one client returned 15 years after making a purchase and said jokingly, “Your furniture will outlive me!”
278 River Valley Road
6737 2322 | gallery278.com
Soul & Tables
Soul & Tables carries an extensive range of teak furniture from Indonesia. And, if you really love your teak, you can opt for the timber in almost all the categories of solid wood furniture that are stocked in store. These include beautiful items for the living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and home office, as well as gorgeous accessories for every room. The store also incorporates recycled teak into selected designs, like the Pop Low table and stool, and the Butcher stool.
Ethnicraft, the brand carried by Soul & Tables, uses raw teak from sustainably-harvested sources with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications. To reduce waste, the leftovers and sawdust are repurposed as fuel in drying ovens, or incorporated into furniture. Ethnicraft also works closely with the Indonesian government to ensure strict tree-replanting policies.
Making furniture that is long-lasting is another key to sustainability. For the Ethnicraft team, stellar craftsmanship is an important factor in this. When a product is designed to last, says the store, it reduces the need to purchase new furniture, hence reducing waste.
#02-01 & #02-03 Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road
9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg
WTP – The Furniture Company
Behind the luxury car dealerships in Alexandra sits WTP’s elegant and bright three-storey showroom. The teak furniture available in the store ranges from dining tables and chairs to sideboards, coffee tables and more. Have an idea of something but you just can’t find it? You can also get WTP to prepare a custom-made piece.
The store sources most of its products from Indonesia, with some teak pieces from Sri Lanka and Myanmar, too. Materials used include a combination of new, legally logged teak from sustainable forests and recycled teak. So, you’ll find something at WTP that makes a statement, while also being gentle on the environment. Using recycled teak helps the teak forests to grow and replenish. It also gives old wood a new lease on life rather than having it end up in a dump and contributing to the waste problem.
The store believes that recycled teak is often a better quality than newly logged wood, too, as the new trees in forests today don’t grow for as long as they were able to previously
3 Kung Chong Road
6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
Grey & Sanders
Adding to their store in the Tan Boon Liat building, the Grey & Sanders team have opened a second outlet at Millenia Walk. The store’s minimalist Scandi-inspired style includes a selection of live-edge teak tabletops and a variety of handy teak kitchenware. These are available in both locations.
Sourced from Indonesia, the teak products are obtained through Perum Perhutani, which is the Indonesian Forest Enterprise responsible for the management of the State-owned forests. The store ensures the timber comes from sustainable sources, either through government-controlled or FCS-certified sources.
The fresh teak used by Grey & Sanders is also left to air dry for over a year, which increases its resistance and durability.
#06-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road
#02-42 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard
8371 8864 | greyandsanders.com
At Originals, you’ll find a more modern take on teak. Instead of the dark, varnished variety commonly found throughout Asia, teak furniture at Originals is light, usually whitewashed and designed to fit any contemporary home.
The teak comes from three main sustainable sources (including recycled), which means you might find yourself owning something that once stood in an abandoned house in Java or India. What about an old colonial cabinet, repurposed from India and given a new life with some colour and design tweaks?
The Originals team says that one of its core values is a responsibility to think about the environmental impact of the business. It does this through its choice of suppliers – in fact, the store only works with FSC-certified suppliers – and by selecting the right product ranges. The recycled collection, for example, has specifically been designed to use old, character-filled pieces of teak.
1 Bukit Batok Street 22, #05-02/03
6471 9918 | originals.com.sg
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