Sustainable Furnishings Council Launches Survey for Interior Designers

The findings will will identify what interior designers understand about hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing of home furnishings.

09/14/2020
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Image by Andreas Breitling from Pixabay
Image by Andreas Breitling from Pixabay

As the 2020 recipient of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Irene Winifred Eno Grant, the Sustainable Furnishings Education Fund, managed by the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), has allocated the $5,000 award toward an interior designer survey titled “What’s it made of?,” with responses due by Wednesday Sept. 30. 

With the ASID grant funded survey, the SFC will identify what interior designers in practice today understand about hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing of home furnishings. 

The primary goal for the project is to utilize the survey results for developing education materials and resources which support interior designers to effectively design healthier interiors for their clients.

Application to the annual ASID grant is extensive, and grantees must meet criteria for expanding research and knowledge around the impact of interior design on behavior, health and well-being.

In its grant proposal, the SFC cites the need for innovation to eliminate harmful chemicals from industry supply chains, ranging from flame retardants, antimicrobial ingredients, substances known as PFAS, VOCs, and polyvinyl compounds which are nearly ubiquitous in home furnishings product manufacturing.

Documented exposure to these toxic materials are tied to a host of health issues, including endocrine disruption, cancer, antibiotic resistance, autoimmune disorders such as asthma, and cognitive and behavior challenges such as ADHD (www.sixclasses.org).

"The ASID grant makes it possible for us to deliver actionable information to the design trade regarding harmful chemicals used in furnishings,” says Susan Inglis, SFC Executive Director, who adds that the designer trade is responsible for close to 25 percent of annual U.S. furniture sales. “It’s clear that interior designers are in a position to make a real difference in reducing environmental pollution.”

“Given the stakes, we are additionally grateful for the ASID’s recognition of the importance of this work,” she says.

The new educational tools are expected to launch in early 2021, but after completing the survey respondents will receive a chart to help them recognize which hazardous items to avoid now.

To participate in the survey, qualified interior designers may complete the 8-minute online questionnaire before 11:59 p.m. EST on the survey close date of Sept. 30. Participants are also eligible to enter a raffle to win an annual SFC membership, or a spot in the SFC GREENleaders educational program.

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