How do we care for the environment when making strings?
One way to help the environment is to decrease waste, thus we need to create products that have the longest lifespan technically possible. At Thomastik-Infeld we think it’s an absolute imperative, one that we are constantly trying to fulfill. Just recently one of our endorsing artists, Wilfried Hedenborg (First violin of Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra) came to test some strings together with Franz Klanner (head of engineering, technology and product development). Both of them started to talk about durability and Wilfried said to Franz that the prototype strings he was testing had a fantastic lifespan. Franz replied: “That’s still not long enough for me. I want more.” This is our principle. We constantly improve, we strive to be best.
For many years now it has been unwritten praxis to deliberately shorten the lifespan for products in order to increase sales. This is not what Thomastik-Infeld is doing. To us the highest quality is always both: inducement and obligation. We believe in what we do and we do it out of passion. We want our products to have the best lifespan for both musicians and environment.
Commitment to the environment is part of Thomastik-Infeld’s everyday life. We voluntarily commit ourselves to participation in various environmental measures. The project “ÖkoBusinessPlan” is worth mentioning. Its aim is to efficiently use resources and raw materials, to optimize the production processes, to lower operating expenses and to dispose of waste properly. Thomastik-Infeld only cooperates with partners who follow similar principles. For example, we ensure that all our suppliers are certificated with ISO 14001:2004 and that they correspond to the standards of the PEFC-Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes.
We always look for new methods and materials, thinking outside the “pegbox” and thought about gut as well. On the surface gut strings might seem like an environmentally friendlier option, since gut is biodegradable. But to produce gut strings a lot of chemistry is needed. Also the finish of a gut string can vary, only 20% of gut strings are pure gut, 20% are oiled and the majority (approx. 60%) are varnished. We are constantly in search of new materials and are even testing fibers of caterpillars and sugar cane at the moment.