Craftsmanship and Sustainability
Founded in 1997 in San Francisco's Bayview district, Woodshanti is a synthesis of
fine craftsmanship, artistic creativity, environmental activism, and economic stability.
Set up as a worker-owned cooperative, Woodshanti specializes in design, fabrication,
finishing and installation of custom cabinetry and millwork using responsibly harvested
lumber and natural finishes. They work closely with trade professionals including
general contractors, architects and designers, but also work directly with home
owners and select commercial clients. Approaching each piece as a collaboration
between themselves and the client, they provide personal attention to each project
to bring the client's idea's to life.
Because each "worker-owner" has a collective stake in the success of the business,
their personal goals to operate with a decidedly environmental and cooperative approach
are fundamental to the company. "Not only are we concerned about our clients' health,
as a worker-owned cooperative, we are also concerned about the health of our worker-owners
and the materials they work with. Besides this we are also concerned about the pollution
and carbon footprint associated with the products we use and the companies that
produce them," says Shawn Berry, owner of Woodshanti Cooperative.
An important part of their eco-friendly strategy is the use of PureBond® hardwood
plywood panels, made with a formaldehyde-free soy-based adhesive. "We began using
PureBond panels as soon as they were launched in 2005," says Berry. "We were upset
when we learned of the harmful additives in some panel products, so when PureBond
was introduced we immediately made it our standard offering. It is a superior product
for indoor air quality, completely non-toxic, soy-based, and from the industry's
leading manufacturer, Columbia Forest Products."
The San Francisco bay area is leading the country in the green movement, and Woodshanti
finds that their customers are concerned about indoor air quality and urea formaldehyde
in their wood products. These eco-smart customers are confident that Woodshanti
sets the highest environmental standard in the industry. "We see environmental ethics
to be inseparable from truly responsible craftsmanship," says Berry.
Another key factor in setting high environmental standards was getting FSC-certified
in 2001. Their strong desire to craft fine cabinetry and from wood harvested from
only responsibly managed forests led them to certification from the Forest Stewardship
Council. Choosing products that are FSC-certified ensures the growth of responsible
forestry practices worldwide.
In addition to the materials they source, their staff includes Certified Green Building
Professionals who have completed advanced training through "Build It Green," a non-profit
membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient
building practices in California. Woodshanti is also certified by the city of San
Francisco as a Green Business.
Woodshanti Cooperative is committed to leading the craft of woodworking into a new
era where efficiency of design and responsible use of resources receive equal importance
to the high level of woodworking skill that is expected of master craftsman. They
are committed to making all aspects of the business as harmonious as possible. Their
portfolio of work features efficient, elegant designs and impeccable construction
that will last for generations.