The words on the front of the new Nativa furniture storefront in San Diego pretty much say it all: "Soon We Will Prove That Artistry And Luxury Can Sustain Nature, Art Never Loses Meaning, True Beauty Endures." Powered by 156 solar panels, the new Nativa store (full disclosure: Nativa is a client of The Change, whose founder, Jerry Stifelman, is a TreeHugger guest poster. TreeHugger Sami Grover also moonlights for The Change) will feature an exclusive range of artisan-quality home furnishings, 85-90% of which will be crafted with FSC-certified rainforest woods. Nativa's stance on timber certification represents an alternative to the destructive practices common in the furniture industry, demonstrating a way of doing business that preserves the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people.
The collection of Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired furniture (the "Campo" dining table is above) features artisan joinery techniques like tongue and groove, mortise and tenon, butterfly and dovetail joints, helping insure that the furniture is as sturdy as it is artistic. About the craftsmanship, Mario Scolari, Nativa's founder and CEO, says, "Unlike most furniture stores today, we don't sell anything from China. The world's most talented craftspeople are right here in South America -- and so are most of the world's FSC-certified tropical rainforests. There's only one reason I know of to import furniture from Asia — low cost. Costs are low because people are being paid incredibly low wages, quality is inferior, and because no one is watching out for the environment, or speaking up for the forests."
The unfinished facade on the new storefront
"If you were to visit our facilities in Argentina or those of South Cone, what you would see would look more like a large artist studio than a factory. Our furniture is crafted by hand and much of it is custom-made to suit the needs of our customers. Our crafts people are well paid and our facilities are located near small family-oriented communities. The way we create furniture supports a traditional way of life for many people."
To open on 1003 University Avenue, this will be Nativa's third store in the San Diego area. Eventually, the other locations will be modified along the lines of the new store. Representing an investment of $225,000, the new Nativa's roof is lined with 156 photovoltaic panels, enough to actually return power back through the grid at low-demand times. Other sustainable building practices integrated into the new store include refinishing the original 1925 hardwood floors, and the use of water-based paints. Set to open at the end of September, we hear rumors of a big launch party, but we'll keep you posted. TreeHugger loves to see this kind of synchronicity -- sustainable forestry + human rights consideration + solar power + generation-spanning longevity -- so we'll be watching and wishing Nativa all the best. ::Nativa