The Best Eco-Friendly Furniture
More Californians are looking to fill their homes eco-friendly products than ever before. This trend, starting with lead-free paint and expanding to organic, free-range chickens, is now finding its way into our furniture and accessories. Though this might seem like a brand-new idea, many of our manufacturers have been implementing eco-friendly practices for a while now! And here at Mum’s Place, we hope to be a leader in eco-friendly furniture stores on the Monterey Peninsula, and all the way down the 68 Corridor and into Salinas.
Lee has been committed to sustainable practices since the 1960’s, well before there were even rules and regulations about earth-friendly manufacturing. In the 1980’s, Lee was one of the first furniture manufacturers to eliminate chlorofluorocarbons which are typically found in aerosol sprays, foams and packaging. They were also one of the leaders in sustainable manufacturing when they initiated recycling and waste reduction in their construction process, ultimately leading to their all around eco-friendly manufacturing.
In 2006, Lee introduced the naturalLEE option for cushion cores which are soy-based and include recycled and natural fibers. They also offer organic fabrics and wood that are certified by FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative). The naturalLEE line found so much success that it is now standard on all frames!
Check out these Aamazing Stats!
- LEE has donated over 142,515 trees to American Forests through sales of naturalLEE.
- The features of naturalLEE save 64 gallons of crude oil per day -this equals 28 trips around the world in one year!
- Just one back cushion uses 116 recycled plastic bottles.
- Over 95% of all manufacturing waste is recycled. In 2007 alone, LEE Industries recycled 41,280 pounds of plastic; 141,060 pounds of fabric and upholstery material; 145,600 pounds of cardboard; 13,116 pounds of cotton; and 10,020 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and paper.
- LEE continues to incorporate new technologies to maximize fabric and leather yields.
Rowe and Robin Bruce
Let’s start with the frames. Every chair or sofa frame is made of kiln-dried hardwood solid and laminate boards that are precision milled to ensure the solid frame won’t twist or warp. Each piece of the frame is then joined with either a mortise and tenon joint or a double dowel, which when combined with the treatment of the wood, gives us confidence in the durability of each product. Check out our blog on Sheesham, and incredibly durable and sustainable wood!
Rowe also wants to source the wood and materials from strictly sustainable resources. The wood is sourced from replenished and domestic forests, and they are currently working on fabrics that are produced by only natural and renewable fibers.
The eco-cushion cores are probably the most impressive part. Rowe’s eco-cushion core contains plant based and renewable materials, replacing the petroleum-based materials in many foam cushions. If you are looking for down-blend cushions, do not worry! There is an eco-down blend core option as well! Combining high-resiliency foam with recycled fibers, feathers and down, it is a modern and comfortable option. How often is it that you can get both eco-friendly and trendy furniture?
Full List of Eco-Materials:
- Arm cardboard: 100% recycled paperboard
- Corrugated cardboard: greater than 25% made from recycled corrugated containers
- Down cushions filler made from recycled plastic bottles and ticking material is no longer bleached
- Springs: made from recycled iron ore
- Nails/Screws: Uncoated. Instead, water-based lubricant is used.
- Foam: a percentage of the Polyol chemicals come from plant-based renewable, raw materials. In addition, the foam is PBDE free and is manufactured without the use of any flame retardants.
- Cotton: 97% recycled materials
- Wovens/Non-Wovens: Some bleaching process eliminated
A founding member of the Sustainable Furniture Council, a non-profit organization made to encourage and promote sustainable practices, American Leather has pledged to make both its products and manufacturing practices eco-friendly.
Similar to Rowe, American Leather frames are constructed with wood that was sourced from sustainable forests. It is also precision-engineered to reduce scraps, creating very little waste. Any scraps that are a result of building these frames are then recycled or reused.
American Leather also offers environmentally friendly leathers, all using water-based pigments. They have adopted a manufacturing process that also greatly reduces the amount of leather scraps, and those that are leftover are recycled or sold for the production of smaller leather goods.
Their headquarters, in Dallas, Texas, has also reduced their carbon footprint by implementing an automatic light shut-off system and encouraging employees to recycle and participate in eco-friendly practices. Because they are centrally located, they produce much lower carbon emissions when shipping, and only deliver within the US.
Read more about American Leather and their incredible sleeper sofas.
Explore Other Manufacturers
There are so many more furniture manufacturers that have adopted these practices.