William Garvey makes the most beautiful wooden bathtubs and water basins. The products are inspired by the Japanese Ofuro, which is traditionally used for a long soak that warms the body and relaxes tired muscles and nerves. Timber is warm to the touch and an excellent insulator, thus helping to keep hot water hot.
William Garvey’s products are so lovely in fact that I really would like to overlook the fact that they are made from Burmese Teak. Sadly, my conscience won’t let me get away with this. So I must state for the record, that although William Garvey’s website claims that their products are all environmentally sustainable, I am little suspect of anything that is Teak, and especially anything that comes from Myanmar.
In fact according to Wikipedia, Burmese Teak is an endangered species. The William Garvey website claims that Teak is the necessary choice for baths due to its water resistance, and their Burmese teak is grown on plantations and harvested in an environmentally friendly way. According to the manufacturer “It is no exaggeration to say that Myanmar teak is the most environmentally protected timber in Asia.” This may be true, but the fact that it promotes trade with Myanmar is socially and politically problematic, if not environmentally suspect.
I encourage anyone who likes the aesthetics of these as much as I do to get in touch with the manufacturer and ask him about the specifics of his production, possibly encouraging him to consider another source of plantation grown teak.