Woodendot: sustainable craftsmanship in the Land of the Pines

By Bombinate

Inspired by a memorable youth spent growing up in the Spanish region of Tierra de Pinares, lovingly known as the land of the pines, Daniel Garcia Sanchez and María Jose Vargas founded Woodendot in 2013. The area's abundance in wood and breath-taking landscapes has influenced generations upon generations of woodworkers and designers, including Woodendot's co-founders. Passionate about nature and stories, the two started their woodcrafting adventure with the same approach they have to life — to enhance its intrinsic beauty.

The brands mission is clear, to celebrate nature while respectfully looking after it, that's why they source all the materials for their designs responsibly, and prioritise a circular approach to production. From inspiring their products, providing the materials, to offsetting their carbon footprint, Mother Nature is at the core of what Woodendot are.

We've asked Daniel and María to share more about their journey with us, from how they choose their materials to the initiatives they have promised to preserve the planet.

María Jose Vargas, co-founder of Woodendot

How important are materials to you and how do you source them?

María: Materials are extremely important to us, especially wood, which is key for everything we design and craft here at Woodendot. Sustainability is one of our core values, and sourcing all our materials consciously isn't an exception. In fact, all of our woods are certified, meaning they come from sustainable and responsibly managed forests, treated only by local artisans with a no-waste approach.

We do extensive research for other less used materials like metal, and find the most sustainable and clean alternatives for each one. But we like to use wood as much as possible as it's a durable and natural, allowing us to craft pieces that are timeless, high quality, and renewable – the last thing we want is to contribute to the fast-furniture industry.

Can you tell us more about your relationship with local artisans?

Daniel: Our manufacturing is based in Íscar, Spain. It's a small town well known for its Pinares trees, wood culture, and wood workshops that carry from generation to generation. I was born here and I've known artisans and their needs, aspirations and challenges since I was a kid. The relationship between Woodendot and our artisans is really close and understanding. We respect and celebrate their unique work and talents, and we feel lucky to have their personal touch in each and every piece that is part of our collections.

What's the design process?

Daniel: Actually all of our pieces are inspired by nature. We look at everything that surrounds us and we take it all in and then apply it to the shapes, functionality and finishes of all our pieces. When we add the wood element to this design process, and the sustainability factor, we end up with a full circle process. An idea is born from nature, made with what is given to us organically – in a way that respects the environment, and that finally completely connects us and our life back to nature. This process wasn't an instant thing, initially it was just mine and María's regular lifestyle – our way of living, but we then applied it to Woodendot. And that, we hope, says a lot about the transparency and sincerity of the whole process.

What initiatives do you support?

María: We decided to partner with One Tree Planted as part of our journey to give more back to our planet and to honour our core value of sustainability. We can’t ignore that even though we take action towards being more sustainable, we're still impacting the planet. One Tree Planted is our way to reduce the CO2 footprint resulting from building our pieces. We plant a tree for every product we sell, no matter how big or small. Just in 2020 we planted 900 trees, reducing 19.800 kg of CO2 emissions, which equals to 45 flights from Madrid to Amsterdam!

Environmental impact generated in the manufacturing of Woodendot's products

What is your proudest achievement?

Daniel: One of the things that makes us proud is when randomly we get emails from people sharing how excited they are about their product, and sending us pictures of it in their homes. It's amazing to know that someone took the time to write an email just to say thank you, or to share how much they loved their Woodendot piece. We hope that each and every one of our products will spread our values, beliefs, and the love and care that goes into everything we do — seeing that people feel that when they receive their items is what gives fuel to what we do and push to improve everyday.

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