While I was at Market, I attended a symposium on sustainable design, as I mentioned in my last post.  I wanted to find out more about this subject since, whether my clients are asking for it or not, it is good to be informed about the products I specify.  I firmly believe that we should be good stewards of the resources we have and maintain a eco-friendly balance so we can at least leave our future generations with as many natural resources as we have had available to us.

The panel of discussion was hosted by the Sustainable Furnishings Council.  Questions were directed to the glamourous Kath Ireland, HGTV star Angelo Surmelis and the President and Publisher of Dwell magazine, Michela O’Connor Abrams.

They all took turns giving valuable and heartfelt answers about what they are doing with their own company to produce a sustainable product, not only meaning the materials used, but how they are made and the conditions under which they are made.

Kathy Ireland pointed out that she will frequently make surprise visits to her factories to ensure that her standards are being met for her product and the working conditions.  She has made efforts to see that her products are never made by children. 

Angelo explained the efficiency of his packaging for his furniture, there is little waste and all packing products are recyclable.  He also emphasized that even in his shows, partly due to limited time and budgets, he seeks to reuse as many pieces of furniture and fabrics as possible. 

Michela pointed out Dwell Magazine’s continual effort to support and encourage green products.  The magazine holds valuable sources for designers and consumers to find products that are certifiably “green”.  Dwell also showcases many projects that use green means in the design and building process.

The symposium was very informative and inspiring!  I realize that I need to be more responsible in finding more green products and asking my vendors for them.  The more companies are asked for green products, the more motivation they have for making them since they are driven by their buyer’s needs and demands.  Thankfully, there are many more options for specifying green now than there ever has been and hopefully we will see this trend became the standard for the industry across the board.  Many sources can be found at the SFC website.

It was also a plus to be able to meet these inspiring and famous people!


Photos by Rebecca Ward