We have all been familiar with pinewood and its wonderful traits making it a great material for children's toys and furniture. This is also the reason why we sourced local pinewood for our rainbows. Conscious of forest denudation and the Philippine government's efforts to stop illegal logging, we made efforts to find out more about our wood sources.
Pinewood is a fast-growing softwood that thrives in temperate regions, mostly in the Northern hemisphere. Our very own Benguet pine, known for its abundance in Baguio, indeed grows fast, but is it abundant enough in our tropical country? We then searched for abundant trees in our country with similar characteristics as pine that is also widely used for toys and, fortunately, we found one!
Meet the local Gmelina aka Malaysian beechwood. This species is widely found in the Philippines and was introduced in our country from Central America to be used for reforestation because it grows fast. In 2016, according to the latest published Philippine Forestry Statistics of the Forest Management Bureau, out of the 790,096 cubic meters of logs produced, 80,266 cubic meters come from Gmelina arborea. The wood itself has a similar creamy color as pinewood, very smooth to touch when sanded. The grain is a little finer on Gmelina, the weight a little heavier as it is considered a lightweight hardwood - making it also easier to work with in terms of shaping curves, tough and resistant to breakage, termites, and decay.
We love our pinewood, but we don't want to denude our forests further of our beautiful Benguet pine. We are committed to source sustainable wood options such as Gmelina beechwood. What's great about this is they are strikingly similar except for a slight difference in weight and hardness. We are excited to share that our next batch of rainbows starting from Batch 2 will be made in Gmelina wood.
Notice the similarities in color. Grain pattern is slightly different as Gmelina has finer grain.
Above: Prototype of our Classic Rainbow in Gmelina wood
1. 2016 Philippine Forestry Statistics. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Forest Management Bureau.
2. The Philippine Star. Government reforestation program: planting the right trees. 12 Feb 2017. http://www.philstar.com:8080/agriculture/2017/02/12/1671459/govt-reforestation-program-planting-right-trees