So what is the big deal anyway – it’s only furniture?
When making your next bedroom furniture purchase you must consider many things. For instance what color, what size, and of course style are traditionally the primary concerns we think about when buying a bedroom set. These simple things determine why a set is so cheaply priced or why another cost a bit more?
In the bedroom furniture industry much of the manufacturing has left the USA . Manufacturers from China , Vietnam , India , Indonesia , and Malaysia are often the builders of both the recognizable and not so familiar brand name furniture we all buy.
What other things might I consider before purchasing my next pieces of bedroom furniture?
Consider what part you play in supporting the good, the bad, and the changing. For example maybe you are for supporting local economies, or social injustice in a region, or fighting against rainforest degradation. Consider a sustainable product built by a responsible manufacturer that is doing their part in this big ecological puzzle by doing all the above. Consider manufacturers who are doing just one piece of this incredibly complex puzzle very well.
The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) hopes to educate all of us by supplying a list of questions to ask and consider the next time we buy a piece of bedroom furniture.
What questions do I need to ask?
Q: When the manufacturer built this piece of furniture where did the wood come from?
A: Managed rainforests and legally harvested wood is the most important thing to consider and will eliminate funding that sustains other non-legal methods.
Q: Does the wood carry third party certification that can monitor good performance and high standards? Examples FSC and the SFI. The Forest Steward Ship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Q: Does this bedroom furniture manufacturer have in place a conduct or social equity code for their process?
A: Such a code is the only real way that workers are treated in a fair manner, paid a decent wage, while working in a safe environment. A written code should be provided by every manufacturer.
Q: Does the manufacturer of this bedroom set currently use or have an everyday use reduction plan?
A: It is a fact that electricity is the number one and largest contributor of CO2 emissions throughout the world. Companies with an energy reduction plan are a large part of the solution.
Q: Where was the furniture produced?
A: The second largest contributor to green house bases is transportation. Buy local when possible from companies who source their raw materials locally. This not only supports local economies but cuts emissions
Q: Were pieces finished or painted with high VOC Volatile Organic Compounds used in the production of this furniture? Various types of varnishes and lacquers used on the wood finishes contain harmful V.O.C pollutants, which are released not only in the MFG process but also in your home. Please choose offering with either low or no VOC emissions.