Why Rattan Cane Garden Furniture is Sustainable

16th April 2020By Lily CaramelBlog Post

Rattan cane is the most popular choice of sustainable garden furniture in 2020. It’s been fashionable in gardens and conservatories since colonial times. This is because cane furniture is elegant and has a superb natural finish. Weaving cane is a cottage industry that has powered small communities across the globe for centuries.

Where does Rattan Cane come From?

Rattan Cane palms are native to subtropical climates. They grow wild under forest canopies in Asia, SE Asia and Africa. In Malawi, Africa, the natural cane grows wild under a canopy of bluegum trees.

Villages in Malawi farm cane responsibly. Weaving rattan cane furniture is a living cottage industry that supports local people.

What Are Sustainable Furniture Materials?

Sustainability is defined as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.  – The Brundtland Report, United Nations 1983 . 

Sustainable furniture is created from renewable materials. Wood, bamboo, rattan cane, reeds and clay are all considered to be eco-friendly.

Research shows that the quality of life in the future will depend on our actions today. If we take care to buy products that sustain local businesses, we can affect the future of far-off developing communities.

By supporting these communities, we help to uplift them. Through our actions, great opportunities can open up for people. This means an improved lifestyle and better education.

Better lifestyle means happier and healthier communities. Better education leads to more responsible and innovative farming practices that combat climate change.

A Handy Sustainability Checklist:

What does sustainability really mean? Max Davidson, the CEO of Malawi Cane Furniture UK  provides this checklist.

Sustainable furniture materials checklist
Checklist for Sustainable Furniture

How does my product score?

Rattan cane furniture scores 100% on the checklist. Let’s answer these questions together:

  • Is it useful? Cane is flexible. Any design is possible: chairs, tables, sofas or beds. These items are not only useful for the home. They are necessities for daily life.
  • Is it long-lasting? Yes, rattan is typically very durable. Therefore, it will last for decades if treated correctly. Read our article here for how to restore wicker cane furniture.
  • Does it have a positive social and economic impact? Local villagers in rural communities benefit financially from farming cane and from weaving furniture.
  • Is it farmed responsibly? This does depend on where the cane comes from. 80% of processed cane is wild. It isn’t easy to verify the impact on the environment of wild cane. In Malawi, farmers manage the crops in a responsible manner.
  • Is it biodegradable? Cane is biodegradable by nature. We can also repair or restore old pieces of rattan furniture quite easily.
  • Is it free of harmful chemicals? Rattan cane furniture is totally natural. It is possible to coat it with a varnish or paint colour of your choice. However, it is true that cane looks fab without embellishment.
White Rattan Cane Chairs and Small Table
Rattan Cane Garden Dining Set Painted White

Paving the Way For the Future

Purchasing rattan cane furniture means supporting rural communities. This encourages better farming practices. Ultimately, we are sustaining a living tradition. This is the heritage of future generations.

Where to buy sustainable cane furniture

Malawi Cane Furniture Uk are reliable outdoor furniture suppliers based in the UK. They provide high-quality rattan cane furniture from Malawi in Africa. You can order chairs, tables and sofas. Each piece is unique. For orders large and small, contact: sales@malawicanefurniture.co.uk


31st March 2020By adminDesign



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