Environmentally friendly furniture production

Many companies that produce environmentally friendly furniture enjoy commercial success. In addition to sustainability, end customers appreciate quality and good design – and they are happy to pay more for it. 

 

Jun 20 2018

Producing eco-friendly furniture is worthwhile, and not just for a company’s image. The increasing number of commercially successful manufacturers claiming to follow ecological principles are proof of this trend. Some have long focused on the issue of sustainability, which has become a megatrend in recent years. Environmentally aware companies are rewarded with satisfied and loyal end customers. The furniture ranges of these companies are developed in cooperation with renowned designers and are noted for their high quality and durability. When it comes to production, these firms take care to ensure they do not have a negative impact on people or the environment, they are powered by renewable energies and use resources sparingly. Consumers are happy to pay higher prices for furniture like this that is environmentally friendly and produced with great care. Participants in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) recent study into the state of the German furniture industry are prepared to spend around 40 per cent more on a sustainably manufactured coffee table. For 73 per cent of those surveyed, eco-friendliness is a relevant criterion when buying furniture. 

Rolf Benz is one of the pioneers of the sustainability trend. The “Blue Angel” eco-label certifies that upholstered furnishings such as the stylish “Rondo” range of sofas are produced with low emissions. The manufacture of the leathers and fabrics used for Rolf Benz collections is also certified. In addition to functionality, the criteria for awarding the label also include the availability of replacement parts as well as options for the environmentally friendly recycling and disposal of the seating.  

Quality down to the smallest detail 

All the materials used by innovative manufacturer e15 for its furniture are recyclable. Sustainability and their ability to biodegrade play an important role in the firm’s choice of wood, foam, covering materials and steel. e15 uses energy-efficient equipment to manufacture its furniture. The company also consciously shortens transport distances by using local suppliers. The quality of the range, featuring designs by internationally renowned designers such as Stefan Diez, can be seen in person at e15’s showroom in Frankfurt, Germany.  

 In the production of its striking wooden furniture, Riva 1920 uses only solid wood from American suppliers committed to the SmartWood forestry certification programme. This is an indication of responsible forest management. In addition, the traditional Italian company uses glues that do not contain formaldehyde or other toxic substances. The surfaces of furnishings such as “Reel”, a stool with the scent of cedar wood, are only treated with natural oils and waxes. Riva 1920 pays just as much attention to keeping production waste to a minimum as it does to maintaining material quality. 

Sustainability as a key to success 

Swedish company Swedese is closely linked to the names of famous modernist architects such as Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen, whose furniture still features in its range. Today, Monica Förster is among the designers working for Swedese. Like all new products, her petite armchair “Hug” had to pass rigorous durability tests. Swedese uses alternatives to chrome such as aluminium or lacquer coatings, and the fabrics used bear eco-labels. High standards of sustainability are part of the company’s strategy. 

Since 2011, Austrian manufacturer TEAM 7 has been managing its own forests according to sustainable criteria. These trees serve as the material source for modern eco-furniture made of pure, natural wood such as the elegant desk “Sol”. The waste wood produced during manufacture is used in the company’s workshop to generate heat. What’s more, intelligently controlled production systems and lighting ensure that no more electricity is consumed than necessary. Perfect design that keeps its promises and meets ecological standards is also an important aspect of a sustainable lifestyle, according to the manufacturer’s website. 

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