Green interiors: Finding a sustainable sofa
If you’re about to turf your old, sagging sofa, what will you replace it with? Here are a couple of the sexiest sustainable sofas around – and a 9-point shopping checklist.
Settle down in a Nook
Melbourne-based manufacturer Jardan has been making furniture for more than 20 years. They’re accredited with the Good Environmental Choice Label - GECA 28-2010 v2 Furniture and Fittings (Level A), the highest possible standard as set by the Green Building Council of Australia (GCCA) resulting in the full allocation of points on GBCA materials calculators.
“GECA is an Australian environmental labelling program that certifies the environmental performance of our products. Internationally the label is recognised as the mark of environmental excellence and is used widely as the basis of green procurement and environmental architecture in Australia,” the company says.
They have a range of sustainable sofas, but the Nook is a showstopper.
Breathe easy with Max
Sydney-based furniture makers Schamburg + Alvisse says it’s the first furniture maker to achieve FSC certification. FSC is an internationally recognised “green” timber certification body based in Germany and is the only timber certification system endorsed by the Green Building Council USA, Green Building Council of Australia, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
As well as being FSC certified, S + A says “our workers are offered fair wages & family friendly work conditions; and our water based glues keep the indoor air you breathe fresher and safer. “Greenwashing” is so last century, so our eco furniture collection is independently certified by GECA to score you Green Star points with the Green Building Council of Australia.”
We’re rather taken with the Max sustainable lounge…
The 9-point shopping checklist
When you’re looking for a sustainable sofa just what things should you consider? Renovation writer Alex Brooks suggests you ask yourself these 9 questions:1. Is the piece made from solid timber, ideally sourced from Australia where the forests are managed more sustainably than South East Asia or South America? (Timber veneer furniture will have a lower price, but cannot be repaired and may contain harmful adhesives.)
2. Is the sofa locally made and sourced? (This generally creates less transport emissions than imported furniture.)
3. Is the design classic enough to last for more than 10 years or too faddish?
4. What sort of warranty is offered with the furniture – anything over 10 years is considered high quality.
5. Does the manufacturer offer a repair or takeback service?
6. Are their products manufactured ethically and do they have an environmental policy?
7. Can you easily maintain and clean the furniture item yourself and will it suit your household?
8. What’s the finish used on the sofa? (Watch out for polyurethane finishes and adhesives that may off-gas and add to indoor air pollution.)
9. Can you buy second-hand rather than new to ensure we extend the life of the resources used in existing furniture?
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web designer 12-Mar-2012 09:13 AM