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AmericasMart Atlanta Opens Eco Lounge for January Market

The Eco Lounge, a partnership between AmericasMart, SFC, Furniture, Lighting & Decor, Tervis, 30A and 4Ocean, will allow market goers to relax, recharge and learn about products and manufacturers that care about sustainable design. Here's what you need to know before you hit AmericasMart Atlanta next month.

Alison Martin
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The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart Atlanta kicks off the January market season, and thus far, it is shaping up to be a busy one. So where will AmericasMart buyers go to find some quiet time during the chaos of market?

Enter the Eco Lounge, the new lounge space debuting at AmericasMart Atlanta this January. Created in partnership with the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC)Furniture, Lighting & Decor, Tervis, 30A and 4Ocean, the Eco Lounge will be a new space where market goers can relax, recharge and learn about products and manufacturers who care about making the earth a greener place.

"We have been looking to partner with the Sustainable Furnishings Council for a long time as many retailers have asked us for recommendations on brands who offer sustainable products," Sarah Mount, Vice President of Marketing at AmericasMart Atlanta, explains. "A convenient lounge is a great way to easily connect with some of these brands and gain insights from SFC — all while charging your phone, enjoying some coffee and leaving with some swag at the same time."

Markets are notoriously busy, especially in January, but the Eco Lounge will serve not only as a great place to learn about sustainability but also as a relaxing area to grab a coffee — or a cocktail — and go over what you're seeing at market.

Learn about sustainability from experts

With the latest report out about climate change, consumers have never been more aware of the planet's fragility. According to research from SproutSocial reported in 2017, 45 percent of consumers said that all brands should take a stand on sustainability, and another 34 percent said brands should take a stand if it directly relates to their products — so no matter what, furniture and lighting retailers should get on board.

But as anyone who's ever Googled "green products" will tell you, there's a ton of information available on sustainable products and design, and not all of it is true. Words like "all-natural" or "green" are not regulated in advertisements, so companies can use them even if their products aren't as natural as consumers would be led to believe.

That's what's great about the new Eco Lounge. Manufacturers and representatives from SFC will be on hand to talk to retailers about these products and what makes them sustainable. Being green doesn't mean just one thing, and there are several factors that make a product truly sustainable. In the lounge, buyers will have time to ask questions of different manufacturers and compare what they've heard. All the manufacturers there work with SFC, so they're not kidding when they say they're committed to sustainability.

"SFC always looks at the commitment a company has to addressing sustainability issues within their operations," Susan Inglis, Executive Director of SFC, says. "That includes thinking about how they are measuring progress, and how they are spreading the word up and down their supply chain. In terms of specific products, we look for materials that are inherently lower-impact, such as solid wood that is responsibly procured, and processes that require fewer harmful chemical inputs. We also look at where a product is made, both to consider the transportation footprint and to consider how likely it is that environmental protection laws have been followed."

"For a buyer who is curious about brands that support sustainable practices and have strong philanthropic philosophies," Mount adds, "this is a great place to learn more."

Stop in for a snack

Though the lounge will have plenty of education materials, lounge spaces are meant to be places of relaxation, and that's exactly what this space will be. 

The lounge will have comfy chairs and sofas, offering market goers a quiet place to kick up their feet during market. There will be charging spaces for phones in need of a little juice, and there will be space for buyers to meet and go over what they've seen during their trip.

Mount says there will also be a daily cocktail hour to help market goers unwind. This will be a great opportunity to network with the manufacturers and get to know them and their businesses.

"I am most excited for the chance to talk with retailers," Inglis shares, "so I do hope lots of them will come by and take advantage of the great resources we will be sharing!"


The Eco Lounge will be open during the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market (Jan. 8-15, 2019) in the Building 3 atrium. Resources that will be available in the lounge, such as SFC's "Quick Guide to Buying Green: Questions to Ask, Answers to Look For," are already available online. 

What about the new Eco Lounge interests you? Share with us in the comments!

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