March 4th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh
Have you noticed that just about every furniture company out there is selling eco-friendly furniture these days? I just googled green furniture and got over 42 million results. And yet we know that over 50% of our wood furniture in the US is imported (Chinese imports increased over 525% over the last 10 years – ref). Do you think those imports are eco-friendly? Not likely. We've written many times about the illegal and unethical practices that make these cheap imports possible.
So how can one get an honest, third party evaluation of a so-called eco-friendly furniture company to determine the integrity of their claims? Try doing some research on the Sustainable Furniture Council Website. The SFC describes itself as "a non-profit balanced coalition of industry players created to promote sustainable practices among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike with a public tagging program to identify good choices." Their slogan is "The Solution Starts with You!"
The SFC has over 250 members and each furniture company in the Council is listed on the SFC website. To be considered for membership, a furniture company must complete a detailed application questionnaire that surveys the company's performance in everything from the extent of reclaimed and recycled resources employed, to the use of electronic versus paper documentation to the treatment and wages of workers. Strict criteria are required for acceptance into the SFC and each member's answers to the application questionnaire are posted online to promote transparency. You can find the Vermont Woods Studios application to the SFC here.
We applaud those consumers who take the time to research their furniture purchases at the Sustainable Furniture Council Website. You are a part of the solution to global warming and preservation of the earth's forests… and the endangered animals and peoples who inhabit those forests. Thanks!