Sponsored by Cole Clark:
With 97% of their guitars containing no endangered timbers, major Australian brand Cole Clark is at the forefront of sustainable guitar making.
As part of their mission, they are encouraging more effort and transparency across the industry in the sustainability discussion.
Since the beginning, 20 years ago, Cole Clark instruments have been largely sustainable through use of local timbers like Bunya, Australian Blackwood, Silky Oak and Queensland Maple in place of traditional timbers.
Replacing Rosewood and Ebony fingerboards and bridges with Australian hardwoods like Sheoak and Satin Box brought about the first entirely sustainable models in 2015.
Adding to their cause, over the past five years urban recovery has become the source of 40% of Cole Clark timber and is growing constantly. This is where trees have come down in storms or are sick and need to be removed. Building guitars from timber that would have otherwise become landfill is not only a far better use of wood, but through carbon sequestration, much of the carbon is maintained within the guitar. Indigenous trees as well as locally grown foreign timbers like Big Tree Redwood and European Maple are part of the urban recovery process.
The rest of the timber used by the company is sustainably sourced through private plantations.
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Cole Clark believe that transparency is key. Generic terms for timbers can be misleading and confusing. For example, the term ‘Mahogany’ is used for a wide range of brown timber, some of which aren’t even related to the Mahogany family.
By listing the scientific term and detailed information about the environmental status of each timber they use on their website, Cole Clark are helping customers make an informed decision about sustainability and attempting to normalize this kind of approach to buying a new guitar.