Woodshanti Cooperative, Inc.
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, 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.