Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rosewood Needles - Endangered or Renewable?

A few weeks ago, someone posed a question on Ravelry about rosewood  - wondering if the rosewood used to make knitting needles was in fact an endangered species. 

Seems like that ought to be a really easy question to answer (and the answer to me was "surely not").  Afterall rosewood needles are readily available here in the states and are sourced by what appear to be reputable companies that have been in business a long time.  But what do I really know?

One visit to a web site of one of these companies (Colonial Needle) provided a little assurance. They state that the rosewood used in their needles is from a "renewable resource."  That sounds good, but what does that really mean, and does that really provide any kind of assurance that the rosewood is not sourced from an endangered species, or that the forest or source is managed in a sustainable fashion.  I know there are sustainable forestry certifications available (now very common to see referenced by certain paper manufacturers) - but does such a certification extend to needle manufacturers? And if so, why aren't they getting the needles certified?

First stop on this quest was to send an inquiry to Colonial Needle - using their contact us feature on the web site.  I sent them an email on January 5th - have yet to get a response.  Will keep at it.

It doesn't seem like to much to ask for a manufacturer to provide more transparency around their raw materials.  As a consumer, we have the right to know.  Maybe manufacturers just need to know that it will make a difference to some of us.

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