The use of ipe lumber has been a hot topic of discussion for a number of years, with the constant question of “is it a sustainable product or isn’t it”? There are arguments for both cases but in our opinion the arguments that ipe lumber is not sustainable outweigh the arguments that say it is. That’s why we at Classic Displays have decided to no longer manufacture any of our benches in ipe.
For as long as we have sold site furniture we have offered our benches in ipe because of it’s durability for outdoor use. It resists decay, and is an extremely hard, dense wood that can last at least 25 years without being stained. It’s so sturdy it’s used in a number of boardwalks across North America as it can handle foot traffic and the elements like no other.
Sounds great right? Here’s the problem. Ipe comes from an extremely slow growing tree, we’re talking 0.5 – 0.7 cm of growth in diameter at breast height per year (a white ash tree grows 1.1 cm in diameter at breast height per year) and usually comes from rain forests in Brazil and Peru. The trees require specific lighting conditions and appear at low densities making them harder to find than you might think.
At Classic Displays we take pride in the variety of sustainable products we manufacture and offering the option of ipe no longer fits into our commitment of sustainability. All of our benches are available in 100% recycled plastic lumber and with our green agenda, these benches are now the majority of what we sell. Not only is it a sustainable product but it’s a reliable one. With a standard 25 year limited warranty against rotting, warping, splitting and cracking, recycled plastic lumber can easily withstand the elements that Mother Nature throws its way just as well as ipe can if not better, because it’s also easy to clean and virtually maintenance free.
As the demand for sustainability in our market grows and becomes a bigger part of our product line, we hope all of our current and future customers will continue to make informed decisions when choosing enhancement products to meet their needs.