All our wooden gifts are created from highly sustainable woods, with most of them being carved from mango wood. A naturally beautiful, warm-toned wood, it can be used to create many different pieces, from kitchenware, to art supplies, and even furniture. Let’s learn a little more about this incredible natural resource.
What is mango wood?
Mango wood comes from mango trees. The mango tree is a key part of the ecosystem in places like India, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa. They provide food and shelter for many animals such as monkeys and birds, and help to prevent soil erosion by providing shade for other plants to grow under them.
It’s the harvesting process of mango trees that make them so sustainable. The trees are grown for their fruit, but reach maturity after 15 years – very quickly for a hardwood. At this point, they produce less or stop producing fruit altogether, meaning the mango farmers will cut them down to create space for new trees to grow. This creates a highly sustainable cycle of plantation and harvest, using the barren trees to make way for new ones to grow. This provides jobs in rural areas and helps farmers to earn extra income to support themselves, their families, and their communities.
What is mango wood used for?
The Fair Trade producers we work with use mango wood to create many of our homeware gifts. The wood is a ‘hardwood’, meaning that it has a dense grain. This makes it strong, durable, and perfect for things like our wooden bowls, boxes, and drawers, as it won’t wear out and will keep its texture for many years.
The beautiful natural colour of mango wood is polished with natural linseed oils to protect and treat the surfaces and give it a rich finish. Some cuts of the wood will have slight colour variations or lines called ‘spalting’, creating beautifully unique patterns.
How do I care for mango wood?
Caring for mango wood is easy, as it’s a relatively low maintenance wood. To top up the gently polished finish, simply rub any food oil into the surface with a dry cloth. If it needs a clean, give it a wash with warm soapy water and immediately dry it off with a cloth or towel. Be careful not to let it soak, as too much moisture could make the wood warp or crack.
To find out more about how to look after your Paper High gifts, we have our very own Care Guide. One of the best things you can do for the environment is consume less, and that’s why we always want you to know exactly how to look after your Paper High gifts, so that they live long and happy lives in your homes.
Fair Trade isn’t just about paying the artisans that create our gifts fairly for their skill – thought that is a big part of it! It’s also about maintaining a respect for the environment, both with the materials they use, and the processes used to craft them into the gifts you receive. If you want to learn more, take a look at our deep dive into elephant dung paper, khadda paper, and our ethics.