20th August, 2020

How Furniture Manufacturers Become More Sustainable

Furniture is essential both for decorative purposes and for functionality in your home and out in your backyard. However, the industrial processes behind creating it can be taxing on the environment because of the byproducts that they create along the way and their high level of resource consumption. Find out how furniture manufacturers become more sustainable and fight these negative precedents through the following actions.

Ceasing to Use Toxic Chemicals

To create the colors and finishes that consumers want, manufacturers often subject their furniture to chemical treatments that alter their appearance and even make them more resistant to stains. Unfortunately, this can lead to the release of toxic chemicals into the air from the factory. Some harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, can even continue to dissipate from the furniture and spread around people’s homes. More manufacturers are changing the chemicals they use and the processes they carry out in order to reduce their environmental impact.

Partnering With Sustainability Organizations

Organizations that focus on sustainability also exist. They create standards for furniture makers to follow in their pursuit of greater eco-friendliness. Some, like the American Home Furnishing Association, help manufacturers cut out waste in their energy consumption by targeting factors like water and electricity usage. Others are concerned with the products themselves as well as the manufacturing processes. The United States Green Building Council, for instance, awards companies that recycle, use resources that are of local origin, and that lower their energy usage. Though its target is the building industry, part of that field may provide materials for furniture building, as is the case for plastic lumber companies.

Changing Material Sourcing

Traditional materials for furniture can require a lot of time and energy to acquire. An example is wood, which may take many years to mature and need a great deal of processing after harvest in order to be fit for furniture. Furniture manufacturers can switch to sourcing from trees and other plant species that are more sustainable. Bamboo is one alternative, which grows at a much faster rate than trees do. Manufacturers can also source materials like plastic lumber from recovered waste products. When plastic that has been used by consumers is repurposed in the form of recycled lumber like this, it no longer contributes to land pollution.

You can aid in the efforts of furniture manufacturers as they become more sustainable by using sustainably sourced materials from companies that are conscious of their environmental impact. Call Tangent Materials today to see how you can incorporate plastic lumber into outdoor furniture.