Sustainable Furnishing Information You’ve Got to Know About

This week we observe “Earth Day” on the calendar, a day having origins back to 1970 when attention was given to our planet’s pollution concerns. It still holds true for today with even more reverence placed on the effects on our earthly environments.

In the world of building and design, the environmental buzzword utilized in the last decade has been “Sustainability”. What exactly does that mean? There have been many definitions that have evolved, but perhaps the most simple is “the ability to be maintained at a certain level or balance without compromising the future”.

More and more products marketed today are making strides in improving the environmental footprint and health impact they are leaving on the planet.

Consumers today are gaining increased choices of “green” merchandise in all categories. The furnishings industry is one that is striving to improve their methods of manufacturing in using Life Cycle Assessment, which involves reducing waste, energy, and pollutants, as well as eliminating harmful chemical processes in creating residential and commercial furnishings. They are also utilizing best practices for monitoring and transportation of supply chain materials.

Buyers looking for environmentally friendly, healthier furnishings can seek an immense amount of research on specific manufacturers and their pledge to provide sustainable products. One such resource is the Sustainable Furnishings Council. On their website, you can find a list of manufacturers, a resource library, and a buying guide.

What are some questions we can inquire of manufacturers about the sustainability factor of their products? Here are a few the Sustainable Furnishings Council suggest to ask when looking to purchase sustainable home furnishings:

  1. What are the materials that went into the piece?
  2. Where and how were the materials obtained?
  3. Were the materials sealed by third-party certification for environmental stewardship?
  4. Were paints or finishes with low or no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) used on the piece?
  5. Does the manufacturer of the piece have an energy use reduction plan?

Some furniture companies committed to sustainable manufacturing

Copeland Furniture

Abner Henry Furniture

Lee Industries Furniture

Check out these questions and other information on sustainable furnishings.

According to a recent article authored by Fred Nicolaus of Business of Home, the next term of sustainability evolution will be known as “Circularity” where products are created with their own end-of-life cycles taken into account, resulting in zero waste or net-zero emissions. In terms of what that means to the consumer, the product goes back into the supply chain after its use instead of a landfill. This trending topic of circularity is one you’re sure to hear more about in the near future.

Karen Lee Johnson, interior designer in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Hi, I’m Karen!

I’m the Founder/Creative Director of Karen Lee Johnson Interiors, a residential design firm working with clients seeking a professional, innovative and collaborative approach to design. We partner with you to creatively and meticulously translate your dreams and visions into reality. Learn more about our services or book a call to tell us about your project!

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