This reminds me of the folks who salvage ancient logs on the bottom of the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, lost from 17th-19th century logging efforts. Huge old growth trees, massive things. Brought to the surface the wood is discovered to be of such excellent quality that one of the salvagers' markets is makers of fine musical instruments. I believe several companies now salvage underwater logs in many places, for flooring and table tops as well.
At least with fine musical instruments, that take hundreds of hours to make, one expects to pay a high price in the first place. So using exquisite rare wood makes sense because it's not *just* a piece of furniture. Violins and mandolins do not go out of style.
But another more important difference between the Great Lakes salvage operation and this one is the carbon footprint. I think carbon footprint should always be included in discussions of "sustainability" because we cannot continue beating up life support system planet earth no matter how proud we may be about our hybrid cars, solar panels and wind farms (and reused lumber).
The people in this article used monumental quantities of fossil fuel to get to their distant location, and to salvage and bring back these (very pricey, I'm sure) finished products for sale to likewise distant well-heeled markets so that some wealthy person on the other side of the globe can feel proud of themselves for buying "sustainable" furniture.
But it's not sustainable. Romantic perhaps, and a lovely story (though I'll wager the locals would have appreciated the firewood at least as much)--but certainly not carbon-neutral by any stretch.
I'd be more excited about a truly sustainable business that used as their raw stock LOCALLY SOURCED ginormous solid wood full-wall entertainment system monstrosities that have gone obsolete now that we have flatscreens and wireless. Rescue those hideous pieces nobody wants any more by cutting them up and reusing parts to make smaller furniture pieces that make more sense in today's lifestyles.
I'll grant you my idea is not as romantic and probably wouldn't make it onto these pages, but traveling halfway around the globe on a surf vacation that you write off as "business expense" to further your "sustainable furniture company" is poppycock.