Sustainable Furnishings Council Launches "What's it made of" Initiative with Partners

The campaign raises awareness about the use of harmful chemicals in furnishings products.

03/10/2017
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The Sustainable Furnishings Council and partners are launching the "What's it made of?" campaign to raise awareness about the use of harmful chemicals in furnishings products and promote supply chain transparency.

As it kicks off, the initiative requests that those interested pledge to ask their suppliers a simple – but crucial – question about the materials used in their consumer goods: "What's it made of?"

"Consumers usually assume that furniture and other products are made from safe materials, but unfortunately that is often not the case," says Judy Levin, Pollution Prevention Director at Center for Environmental Health. "This simple but forward-thinking question creates incentives not only for disclosure but also for choosing materials that keep workers and consumers safe." 

The initiative starts with a free webinar on March 16 at 11 a.m. CST. Speakers at the webinar will cover the health risks of some substances used in furnishings and offer tips on how to start a conversation with suppliers about materials used. The Sustainable Furnishings Council is joined by the American Sustainable Business Council, the Center for Environmental Health, the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design and GCI General Contractors in creating the initiative.

David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, says their polling shows that 82 percent of businesses agree that chemical ingredient information should be shared all along the supply chain.

According to Jonsara Ruth, Design Director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design, asking suppliers what materials are used in home furnishings is in the consumer's best interest.

“When wellness and health are considered in the design and manufacture of furniture, then homes will be the havens that we know them to be," Ruth says.

For more information and to sign the pledge, visit www.sustainablefurnishings.org.

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