The Pacific Northwest has long been known for its wood, pulp, and paper industries. Cut through a panel of Richlite, and you’ll find hundreds of thin layers of recycled paper, pressed together with resin to create a signature product that is both sustainable and nearly indestructible. Established in 1943, Richlite is a family-owned company nestled in the heart of the Port of Tacoma. A team of 38 employees produces solid paper-phenolic panels of varying thicknesses and colors, all of which are consistently and irresistibly smooth. Its signature mottled surface and warmth comes from the overlapping paper fibers and amber-colored resin. Strum your fingers over the fretboard of a guitar or drop into a half-pipe, and you’ll probably encounter Richlite. “It’s a dreamer’s brand,” said Melissa Huston, marketing manager. “Whatever you can do with wood or aluminum, you can do with Richlite.” With clients like ESPN, Boeing, Gulfstream Aerospace, Epicurean, and a commitment to employee benefits and sustainable manufacturing, it’s no wonder that the World Trade Center Tacoma recently honored Richlite with its annual Globe Award.

Photos below by David Putnam