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Classic Canes: Eco-Friendly Walking Sticks

Tuesday, 29 January 2019  |  Admin

Sustainability: the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment, and therefore being able to continue existing for a long time. We live in an age when everyone is becoming keenly aware of how crucial the well-being of our planet is for our own existence, and the existence of future generations.

Companies all over the world are awaking to the importance of running a sustainable business, but sadly words such as eco-friendly, environmentally-friendly, green, or sustainable get thrown around rather carelessly. Classic Canes are a walking stick manufacturer committed to ensuring that their forestry, manufacturing and distribution activities are carried out with minimal adverse effect on the environment.

Coppicing in the Mist

To make sure you know exactly what you're getting when you choose one of our many Classic Canes products, we've decided to put together this short article that explains the measures Classic Canes take to keep their business as eco-friendly as possible.

Who Are Classic Canes?

Classic Canes are a family business based in the Somerset countryside, established in 1982. Their walking sticks are known for style, elegance and quality, and range from simple everyday sticks, to fine collectors' canes. What all of them have in common is that they were crafted with the well-being of the environment in mind.

A typical walking stick is a very straightforward product, with only four main components: shaft, handle, ferrule and collar. Classic Canes ensure each of them is made from sustainable materials that contribute towards their goal of an eco-friendly business.

Using Sustainable Wood

Wood is one of the most sustainable materials used for the making of walking sticks, but not all wood is created equal. The source of sustainable wood lies predominantly in what is referred to as sustainable forests, which are specially cared for by professionals who manage the landscape to prevent damage to eco-systems, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, keeping in mind that the forest still needs to be there for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Classic Canes woodlands are predominantly native hardwoods, such as ash, hazel, blackthorn and beech. Their coppice system is of great benefit to the native flora and fauna as it allows light to reach the forest floor and provides suitable shelter for a wide variety of invertebrates (including many woodland butterflies) and mammals.

The wild population of roe deer help with pruning by removing the lower side shoots from the trees, while the forest is home to a number of rare plants, mushrooms and fungi. As they do not carry out chemical weeding, flowers and plants such as orchids and ferns are also able to thrive in Classic Canes woodlands.

Chestnut Thumbstick Country Walking Stick
Classic Canes offer a broad range of natural wood walking sticks

Which Types of Wood Are Sustainable?

While all wood that comes from these forests is sustainable, certain types of wood are considered more sustainable than others. Some of the most common types of sustainable wood include:

  • Acacia
  • White oak
  • White ash
  • Maple
  • Pine

Ladies' Scorched Acacia Crook Walking Stick
Acacia is considered one of the most sustainable types of wood. It is also incredibly hard and durable, water-resistant, and wonderfully fragrant

Ecological Benefits of Coppicing

Classic Canes produce some of their rustic walking sticks using the centuries-old forestry technique of coppicing. Native British hardwoods, such as ash, hazel and blackthorn, are cut off to the height of approximately 120cm from the ground. New shoots result, and take three to four years to grow to the correct diameter for walking sticks such as hiking staffs, thumbsticks and knobsticks. If you're interested in learning more about this technique, we recommend reading this short article on coppicing.

Coppicing has many ecological benefits. The wood constantly renews itself, so there is no need for clear felling or replanting. The system allows light to reach the forest floor, encouraging native wildflowers and the fauna that depend on them.

Deerstalker's Hazel Thumbstick Hiking Stick
Coppicing produces natural looking walking sticks that are perfect for country walks

Minimising Product Miles

Product miles are the total distance a product is transported from its place of growth to the end customer. As part of their environmental policy, Classic Canes make sure that manufacturing of their home-grown walking sticks is carried out on site, so that the first product miles their walking sticks accrue occur when they are dispatched from them to the retailer.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Components

Not all walking sticks, however, are made from wood. Classic Canes design and manufacture a broad range of height-adjustable and folding walking sticks, as well as evening canes and lightweight everyday sticks. Due to their nature, these walking sticks are made from materials such as different types of metal, most often aluminium, and plastic.

To improve the sustainability of all of their walking sticks, Classic Canes are always looking for innovative ways to reduce the use of single-use plastics, and try new, eco-friendly pigments.

National Gallery Bosschaert Derby Adjustable Folding Walking Stick
All materials, including aluminium, plastic and dyes, are responsibly sourced

Where Can I Buy a Classic Canes Walking Stick?

Classic Canes supply walking sticks, folding canes, seat sticks, umbrellas and more to quality retailers in over 40 countries around the world. At WalkingSticks.co.uk we are proud to say that we are one of these retailers, stocking over 500 Classic Canes products. Visit our broad range of Classic Canes Walking Sticks, and find the perfect sustainable walking stick for you.

Have you tried any Classic Canes products yet? Let us know in the comments, or find us on Twitter and Facebook!