Consider the environment next time you buy a chess set

Jul 24, 2008, 11:43 AM |

It may not be the foremost thought when buying a chess set but your social conscience should be engaged when choosing which set to buy. The first issue comes with the woods commonly used to make chess sets. Rosewood and ebony are classed as endangered woods. There is still legal sources of these woods however demand is so high that the illegal trade is rife. Brazilian rosewood, often used in guitar fingerboards has reached a dire situation in terms of it's sustainability.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the value of vintage chess sets as the supply of these woods dries up and the prohibition on it's harvest is enforced with more enthusiasm.

The other factor to consider is the air miles your chess set has covered to reach you. The increase in Global trade has made sourcing well prices sets from India much easier. Indeed many of the UKs popular chess retailers receive regular air shipments from their Indian chess suppliers. Others however import via boat in containers, which is much better for the environment.

Bear in mind you will be paying for the airmiles one way or another. The air freight charges can be three times that of sea shipping, which is all factored into the final price you pay for the set.

Don't be afraid to ask the retailer if their products are shipped in or flown, where they come from and what guarantees they have that the wood sourcing is legal and sustainable.