Sugi trees, or Cryptomeria japonica, make up 13 percent of Japan’s land mass, planted throughout the country during post-World-War-II reconstruction. Its Latin name means “hidden treasure of Japan,” and furniture manufacturer Hida Sangyo Co. Ltd., Hida-Takayama, Japan, and Italian designer Enzo Mari hope to make sugi the next wave in sustainable furnishings. Hida Sangyo developed an innovative compression technology to give durability to the soft sugi wood, a renewable and plentiful resource. In fall 2008, the company and Mari plan a global launch of the 34-piece HIDA furniture collection, made of local Japanese materials by Japanese artisans using sustainable processes that result in less waste material. “The HIDA concept is to create beautiful furniture that is both gentle on the environment and on the people manufacturing it,” says Hida Sangyo CEO Sanzo Okada.
AMEICO, New Milford, Conn., will distribute 15 of the 34-piece HIDA designs. Visit www.ameico.com/product_categories/eco_friendly.htm to see the collection.