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Posted on by Alex Wood
What is the “What’s It Made Of?” Initiative?
The “What’s it made of?” Initiative encourages consumers to ask retailers, what the products they sell are made of. This will encourage retailers to examine supply chains and manufacturing processes more carefully and manufacturers will be encouraged to reduce the use of harmful chemicals when they manufacture furnishings. Ultimately, it will enable retailers to sell more “sustainable” and “environmentally-safe” products.
Asking “What’s it made of?” is an important first step toward affecting real change in the way businesses, large and small, do the following:
- Source supplies
- Manufacture products
- Create and manage waste
- Treat people working for them
- Care for the communities where they operate
- Safeguard the planet
- Offer transparency concerning chemicals in the manufacturing of products
Who Started The “What’s It Made Of?” Initiative?
The Sustainable Furnishings Council, a coalition of manufacturers, retailers and designers, dedicated to raising awareness of environmentally sustainable practices across the home furnishings industry, has joined with others, for the “What’s it made of?” Initiative.
- Sustainable Furnishings Council(SFC)
- American Sustainable Business Council
- Center for Environmental Health
- Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design
Environmental sustainability is important to the Sustainable Furnishings Council members and to all who participate in the “What’s it made of?” Initiative.
How Are Consumers and Retailers Involved?
Today’s consumers are health conscious. They purchase items that are made with natural and organic materials and products that are manufactured responsibly since they do not want to bring harmful chemicals into their homes. They are aware of the presence of chemicals in certain products they purchase, known to be harmful to their health and the planet, including:
- Flame retardant chemicals
- Fluorinated stain treatments
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
It is important for retailers to learn about the materials used in the products they sell and the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, to keep their customers informed.
About the Sustainable Furnishings Council
The Sustainable Furnishings Council is a coalition of businesses who design, sell, and manufacture furnishings, who have dedicated themselves to raising awareness about environmentally sustainable practices and they encourage other businesses to adopt them as well. They also help home furnishing businesses reduce their carbon footprint and raise awareness and standards, related to:
- Minimizing carbon emissions.
- Reducing pollutants.
- Removing unsustainable materials from furniture supply chains.
- Eliminating harmful chemical inputs from all furnishings products platforms.
The Sustainable Furnishings Council encourages businesses in the industry to adopt Life Cycle Assessments, for analyzing the effect products have on the environment and human health. They even encourage businesses to develop verifiable chains of custody for tracking wood flow. The bottom line for the Sustainable Furnishings Council is simple: People, Planet, Profits – in that order.
The goals of the organization are four-fold:
- Raising awareness concerning sustainability issues.
- Assisting businesses in the adoption of good practices for the planet and for people.
- Serving as an informational resource to businesses in the industry and all who share its concerns about the planet and human health.
- Providing a symbol to consumers for certain standards of quality.
The Sustainable Furnishings Council is truly an invaluable resource to consumers and furniture industry.
Sustainable Furnishings Council Members
Consumers can look for businesses that are members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, like PlushBeds, when buying furniture for your home and family. This will allow you to buy with confidence, knowing the products you buy are safe for your family and the planet.
To find other qualified Sustainable Furnishing Council member businesses or offer environmentally safe and eco-friendly furnishings, use SFC’s search tool.
The Sustainable Furnishing Council also offers extensive resources for those who want to learn more about waste reduction, recycling, reducing energy, health and environmental safety, awareness and truth-in-advertising and natural resource materials.
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