You know the green office furniture trend has hit its stride when even Chinese manufacturers are getting in on the act. For example, the Aurora Group (headquartered in Guangzhou) has conceptualized an “eco office” concept that it’s promoting in major Chinese cities.
The showcase for the “eco office” idea is Aurora’s X-series chairs, which are made of cloth dyed with EU-certified environment-friendly pigment, and are 80% recyclable.
Which only goes to show that green office furniture is getting much easier to procure. Part of it is due to increased demand: more government agencies are asking for it, more corporations are figuring green office furniture to be a useful PR angle.
So manufacturers have stepped in to fill the need: more furniture on the market is crafted from recycled material, constructed from sustainably harvested resources, and use eco-friendly materials.
Consider remanufactured office furniture, which today comes in practically the same quality as brand new. When old furniture undergoes the remanufacturing process, its metal surfaces are cleaned and repainted (often with low-VOC coatings that limit toxic emissions into the atmosphere), its fabrics are replaced and recycled, and even packaged with recycled material.
Also, recycled materials are making a strong showing in new furniture as well. Recycled fabrics, recycled steel, even recycled soda bottles – these are all weapons in the furniture manufacturer’s struggle to lower costs and gain a higher green profile.
Finally, there’s sourcing renewable materials, which companies like Herman Miller and the Knoll Group do their best to lead in. The former announced that they were using cherry and walnut wood for their high-end furniture, instead of harder-to-replace woods like mahogany and rosewood. The latter is checking up on its suppliers’ sustainable practices and sourcing reclaimed lumber for its product line.
With more customers prioritizing eco-friendliness over lower cost, the furniture industry is responding to a demand for green office furniture that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. (We’re surely no slouches in this department – our remanufactured office equipment category is one of Cubicles.com’s top sellers.)
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