COVID 19 & The Flooring Industry
2020 was starting off great and the building industry had its sights set on another incredible year of growth. Then Covid 19, or more commonly referred to as “The Corona Virus” showed up and has enveloped the world with its threat of illness and death. China, India Europe, and most the world have gone on a lockdown, the likes of which haven’t been seen before, especially in the modern age. Travel plans have been canceled, hotels and restaurants have been shuttered and unemployment is soaring by the day.
Make Better Choices
In regards to the flooring industry, 85% of brands from China and Europe are poised to take the biggest hit. Questions of how the wood is sourced, shipping conditions and factory cleanliness are at the top of the list. Factories in China have been shut down for the time-being and global trust is questionable at best. With sub-standard pay, ethics and labor conditions, how can Chinese commodity wood even be considered at this time?
I don’t know, we should be more concerned with the domestic retail and sales channels here in the USA. They are the ones who will have to weather this storm, somehow survive the next few months and then look at their vendors when they get back up and running and decide on what’s safe. It’s already a conflict having to play the dollar game with consumers who want cheap products. This ethical question starts in China who use up to 70% of illegally harvested lumber and who has the worst pollution rates on record. There’s a reason China makes things so cheap people.
Know Your Source
Manufacturing in China is going to take a hit. Brands best poised to come out of this Covid 19 era will be the ones who are in control of their supply channel, own their own factories and are located in remote areas where the virus will not penetrate as deeply as China. They will also be the ones who ethically harvest or reclaim their wood, leaving as small of an environmental impact as possible. Now is the time to support brands that put the earth and ethics at the forefront of their business model. Take the time to research the brands you want to use on your next project. Remember those who are there for you through this trying time. The ones who extended terms offered free shipping or warehousing and the ones who went the extra mile to support your projects with clean, sustainable wood.
In the short term, while it appears that the sky is falling, those wise enough to see this as an opportunity to regroup and make smart choices will come out in a much better place. Those without a plan at this time will be left behind. Look at your vendors, look at your pricing, sourcing, overhead and distribution channels. Trim the fat and focus on what separates you from the rest. Quality, customer service, and dependability should all be at the top of your list. Profits will follow if you commit to doing the right thing.
Reclaimed Teak Flooring
A great source for clean wood is reclaimed teak flooring from Indoteak Design. Owning their factory in a remote town in Indonesia and only use reclaimed teak wood on all their products. Since the operation is small, the quality control and attention to quality and cleanliness are first and foremost. Search out vendors who are not based in China and who offer a higher standard and quality product. During this time of crisis, find the best partners for your design firms, clients and retailers.