Climate change is one of the biggest global problems for our times.
As a consumer, you have the power to help simply with your buying choices. You should consider supporting companies that are actively trying to make a difference for our Earth.
For example, you can make environmentally friendly choices by using sustainable furniture finishes. Look at selecting materials and products that help our environment and buy products from initiatives that give back.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry! That’s what we are going to cover in this article.
Beware of the Green-washing Scam
Companies today are often cited as just implementing uninspired “greenwashing” initiatives. Most corporations are only taking action on surface-level changes with no future impact. By doing research you can ensure the products you are buying really help.
What exactly is sustainability?
McGill University describes Sustainability “as meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. “
Just because something is labelled as a “green” product does not necessarily mean that it’s a sustainable product. There is a significant difference between something being labelled as environmentally friendly versus being sustainable.
When a product is listed as environmentally friendly, it does no current harm to the environment.
When creating something that is considered sustainable, there is a higher set of standards that need to be met. Sustainability shifts the focus to the future, so it’s not only impacting now but will make differences in the long run as well.
Circular Design and Recycling Design for Furniture
Are you on the hunt for the most sustainable products? Enter the realm of circular design. While this isn’t a one size fits all solution, circular design is behind many sustainable products available on the market today.
The circular design process shifts the lifecycle of a product from a beginning, middle and end and instead creates a closed-loop system.
Products made with circular design means that these products can last forever. This doesn’t mean you have a chair that will never break but rather materials can be continuously reused.
Many products on the market today aren’t realistic for a circular design, but there are some steps you can take as a consumer to begin incorporating sustainability into your workspace.
Recycling design is an excellent sustainable option. This means that the product is created from existing waste and being morphed into a new product. Look for products created from existing environmental waste.
Upcycling is a consumer-friendly way to begin adding sustainable options into your workplace. When it’s time to dispose of furniture, look for options that can reuse or recycle the materials instead of going directly into landfills.
By opting for suppliers with a core focus on creating sustainable furniture, you can be assured that your products are created with the environment in mind.
What are your sustainable options when selecting furniture finishes?
When purchasing new office furniture, you will be exposed to various options when it comes to everything from the actual product to what finishes you want. This is where you can add some sustainable design into your workspace.
Not sure what we mean by furniture finishes? Check out our article.
Most office furniture manufacturers today have an environmentally friendly or sustainable option when it comes to furniture finishes. These options often don’t drastically increase the cost and still provide a wide variety of colours and styles.
Plastic is everywhere you look and manufactured at an extreme rate all over the world. Even with proper recycling measures, plastic still takes centuries to degrade and continues to pollute our earth. It’s also no secret that plastic scraps and waste has overfilled our oceans and created severe problems for delicate ecosystems.
According to Haworth, since the beginning of plastic production, 8.3 billion metric tons of new plastic have been created. A whopping 6.3 billion metric tons have become waste. As well, only 9% of that plastic waste is being recycled.
Haworth partnered with the SEAQUAL initiative to help combat this overwhelming problem. SEAQUAL collects marine debris and waste from the oceans and beaches around the world. This waste is made up of a ton of different materials, making it nearly impossible to recycle. SEAQUAL makes an effort to sort the waste into metal, glass and plastic.
With the plastic, they create these little plastic pellets called upcycled marine plastic. Manufacturers can then use this raw material to create new and sustainable products, including OCEANIC fabrics.
Haworth has a textile collection aptly named Oceanic, which is created using circular design. Oceanic is a beautiful upcycled-plastic polyester upholstery fabric. In this video, Haworth explains the process behind this new material.
There is no lack of options when it comes to finding your perfect colour with the OCEANIC fabric. There are options like a lively yellow called barrier, an emerald green called coast, a muted orange called aquatic and many more. Oceanic is a B-grade material, meaning it’s also competitively priced while still meeting rigorous standards.
By making these changes now, you are impacting the world for generations to come.
Spend some time researching more sustainable furniture practices and make educated decisions about your furniture buying practices. You can also connect with one of our furniture representatives today, and they would be happy to help you find the perfect sustainable option.
Digital Content Specialist