Our Green Story
Since 1969, LEE has been committed to manufacturing earth friendly products, using sustainable processes by people who care about the environment. In the early 1980’s, LEE chose to use products that eliminated chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) in foam cushions before it was mandated. Around the same time, LEE initiated waste reduction and recycling programs in all parts of the manufacturing process. It was taking these small, simple steps that laid the groundwork for future eco-friendly manufacturing.
As new technology has progressed and as new products are made available, LEE has made the effort to incorporate them into the manufacturing process. In 2006, LEE introduced naturalLEE, an option in upholstery that features soy-based cushions, fibers made from recycled plastic, organic fabrics for upholstery, and wood panels certified by FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative). With the success of the program and with LEE’s commitment to the environment, the benefits and components of naturalLEE have been made standard on all LEE products.
WHAT IS naturalLEE?
Having been established as a leader in eco-friendly manufacturing, LEE knew that offering naturalLEE was the right thing to do. naturalLEE offers soy-based renewable seat cushions with 30% soybean oil, reducing the amount of petroleum based products. LEE’s back and throw pillows are filled with 100% recycled fibers made from clear and white plastic bottles. The seat deck and trim pads are made up of 80% regenerated fibers. Their arm padding is made with soy-based polyol. The finishes are all very low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). Wood for the frames used by LEE comes from certified sustainable forests and are bonded with a soy-based resin. Their springs are 80% recycled metal. Our offering of organic and natural fiber fabrics complete the product. Being earth-friendly comes without sacrifice.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE?
Sustainable furniture definitely makes an impact on their environment. The higher the quality means that customers will keep their furniture for longer periods of time, rather than replacing it after a few years (which is what happens with lower quality products). LEE manufactures long-lasting furniture made in the USA. The longevity of their furniture prevents it from being discarded in landfills, leaving a smaller environmental footprint on this earth.
HOW DOES CHANGING TO ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIALS AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT I AM BUYING?
The quality is the same as using conventional materials and in some cases, their responsible components are even better! Their soy-based seat cushions offer better comfort, consistency and durability than conventional seating packages. Their very low VOC finishes reduce harmful chemicals, providing the same beautiful hues. The use of certified sustainable wood lets us track the chain of custody for each piece of wood in our frames and guarantees our unmatched performance. LEE’s product gives you a better quality of life in your home.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FURNISHINGS COUNCIL?
Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) is a non-profit balanced coalition founded to support sustainable business practices in the home furnishings industry. LEE is a founding member of SFC with Gold Exemplary Status and board representation.
WHAT DO SFI® AND FSC® MEAN?
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®) is based on a simple premise: LEE can protect forests while producing the wood and paper products the economy needs. Partners of SFI® agree to abide by a set of forestry principles that combine the growing and harvesting of trees with long-term protection of wildlife, plants, soil, and water quality. The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC®) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization with international members from all areas of forestry management. FSC® brings people together to find solutions that promote stewardship of the world’s forests. Being certified by these programs ensures consumers that the products they purchase are derived from forests that are managed to specific environmental and social standards. LEE holds certificates from both of these organizations.
HOW DO SOYBEANS MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
The soy-based BiOH™ polyol used in their cushions replace 30% of petroleum-based chemicals traditionally used to manufacture cushions. LEE has partnered with their suppliers who are creating healthy, renewable, soy-based solutions to improve your home environment, as well as conserving the Earth’s nonrenewable resources. For every million pounds of petroleum-based polyols replaced with soy-based polyols, nearly 2,200 barrels of crude oil is saved. Not to mention, LEE is supporting their American farmers.
CAN ONE MANUFACTURER MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Absolutely! As a manufacturer, it is LEE’s duty to do their part. LEE wants to meet the needs of the present, but don’t want to compromise the future. This is why they incorporate environmentally-friendly processes, practices, and parts wherever possible. Also, they are partnering with a national waste management company to distribute almost 100% of raw materials for use in other products. LEE has also made an effort to move toward a paperless communication system, internal recycling efforts, and decreased energy use company-wide. It is their goal to give back to the earth. LEE has donated over 142,515 trees to American Forests® to help conserve natural resources.
Sunbrella products are rooted in sustainability throughout the manufacturing of the fiber, yarn, and fabric. Their dedication to quality ensures that you are getting a product that lasts longer and needs to be replaced less often, ultimately creating less waste. In all the markets served, Sunbrella products hold their color and strength, outlasting traditional fabrics.
Zero Waste to Landfill
No Sunbrella manufacturing facility in the world sends waste to a landfill. A result of their focus on efficiency and extensive reuse and recycling efforts, this initiative allows for Sunbrella manufacturing to lead by example by putting sustainability into practice every day across the globe.
Sunbrella upholstery fabrics are 100% solution-dyed. Unlike conventional coloring processes, solution-dyeing reduces wastewater.
Glen Raven owns and operates solar arrays at the plants in Anderson, South Carolina and in Norlina, North Carolina. They collectively generate 1.5 megawatts of energy–capable of producing enough energy to power over 150 homes.
Sunbrella ensures you are getting a product that lasts longer and needs to be replaced less often, ultimately creating less waste.
Recycle My Sunbrella
Save Sunbrella fabric waste from entering landfills with the Recycle My Sunbrella program.
For more than 25 years, Sunbrella has recycled acrylic manufacturing waste and delivered it to partners who convert the materials into industrial products such as felt, automotive insulation and filtration.
In 2010, Sunbrella started the Recycle My Sunbrella program that allows domestic consumers to participate in their recycling process. This is a special take-back program that provides an alternative to disposal for fabric scraps, awning covers, boat covers and upholstery fabric. Since the inception of the program, business partners and homeowners have recycled more than 600,000 pounds of fabric.
A Principled Approach
Superior Materials Sustainably Harvested
From the best wood comes the best furniture. Gat Creek is at the geographic center of the highest grade Ash, Cherry and Maple in the world. The company’s raw material is sustainably harvested from Appalachian forests within a day’s drive of the shop.
We source lumber exclusively through suppliers like Frank E. Wilson Lumber of Elkins, West Virginia, a fifth-generation company that meets strict conservation standards. Stewardship of forest resources in partnership with Wilson Lumber, ITL Northwest Hardwoods, and others has contributed to an increase in the region’s population of hardwood trees for the past 90+ years.
Clear, Protective Finishes
The finish choice is yours on any piece! We offer a wide range of sophisticated wood tone and paint finishes on every design. Their state-of-the-art finishing facility and advanced operating practices make this customization possible.
Their catalyzed lacquer finish forms a clear, efficient barrier with a close-to-the-wood feel. We optimize the sensory experience of nuanced color, pattern and texture inherent in premium materials and handmade, solid-wood furniture. And their finish is easy to care for holding up to almost any liquid in your home, from water to wine.
A healthy environment starts inside your home. Engineered materials frequently used in furniture manufacturing, especially MDF, have a reputation for leaching VOCs and formaldehyde. We believe using safer, natural materials and choosing solid wood furniture can help avoid bringing toxins into your home.
Gat Creek products are made even healthier through their finish practices. The catalyzed lacquer finish we use to protect their solid wood furniture is 99.9% cured in the production process. Ovens and fans in their finishing area, along with time, assure that essentially all VOCs are vacated before their products are delivered to you.
We offer a variety of classic furniture styles and finish treatments to provide a range of choices to fit your home. Gat Creek’s design team refreshes the assortment regularly to reinterpret traditional forms and colors for contemporary tastes and needs.
Steering clear of trends, we seek to produce timeless designs and finishes that will be a source of pride and joy for decades to come.
Recycled Material and Sustainability
Seaside Casual furniture is made from Envirowood, an all-weather, marine-grade recycled HDPE polymer – the kind found in milk jugs. Their furniture is essentially a maintenance-free product. Their HDPE material is non-porous and resistant to moisture, fading, insects, splinting, warping and other hazards of environmental exposure common to wood and wood fiber composite products.
Customers concerned about the environment can feel confident they have made a good decision by purchasing Seaside’s products. Unlike other types of resin and polymers, HDPE is the most environmentally stable, giving off no harmful fumes. Their products are designed to hold up to all kinds of adverse weather conditions for decades. And when they are finally ready to be replaced, the materials can be recycled again into new useful products.
Seaside Casual’s twelve-acre, 100,000 square foot facility provides the template for sound environmental stewardship. Since the purchase of their state of the art facility in 2007, they have continually strived to find areas needing improvement, and work towards making it better.
They have reduced and reclaimed thousands of tons of corrugated cardboard, wood debris and other recyclable material, previously moved into the waste stream, and have either repurposed, recycled or reduced their reliance on them. Seaside has also worked on efficiencies that have already dropped their utility consumption by double digits, and they will continue to work on responsible energy conservation.
Seaside Casual knows you are buying their furniture to enjoy the peace and serenity of the outdoors, and they are committed to doing their part to ensure the generations to come will have the opportunity to enjoy it as much tomorrow as we do today.
History of Sustainability
Telescope has always been a “Green” company, partially for ethical reasons; protecting this awesome resource they are responsible for, and partially for economic reasons.
For 30 years, Telescope has been utilizing the waste from their wood operations to heat their manufacturing facility. They manufacture in the North East, and it gets quite cold during the winter. The last time they ran oil-fired furnaces, they used 800,000 gallons of fuel oil per year. Their manufacturing plant is substantially larger than it was 30 years ago, but conservatively, Telescope has avoided using 24 million gallons of fuel oil, or over ½ million barrels of oil.
Change doesn’t happen by law or magic. It takes hard work. Telescope is proud to do its part to help the environment and even more proud that they found an economic reason to support their actions.
While the “Green Movement” has gained momentum recently, for Telescope it’s been the only way they’ve known how to operate. From carefully managing the 10,000-acre timberland for continuous growth and sustained yield, to utilizing recycled materials in all stages of manufacturing and recycling virtually all of its waste, Telescope “was green before green was popular.” As consumers and retailers become conscious of environmentally friendly products, Telescope is once again a leader by just doing what they’ve always done.
Committed to Environmental ResponsibilityPreservation of the Earth’s ecological system is today a major concern. Indiscriminate deforestation of the Amazon Basin and other rainforests has led to widespread suspicion by the public of those companies in the teak industry. Kingsley Bate is the first American company to use Javanese teak in the manufacture of its furniture.
Kingsley Bate’s teak is harvested from carefully controlled plantations established in Indonesia by the Dutch in the mid-19th century. The Indonesian government allows the felling of a limited number of trees each year, and ensures that an equal amount of reforestation takes place. In 1983 Kingsley Bate, in conjunction with the Indonesian government and its people, undertook to develop a teak furniture program in Java.
Since then, Indonesia and Kingsley Bate have shown that such a program can be implemented without detriment to that country’s natural resources. Due to the increasing demand for this beautiful hardwood, Kingsley Bate now uses a select amount of Burmese teak in its productions. Whether Javanese or Burmese, you can be assured that they use only the finest quality teak in their furniture.
Rowe uses kiln-dried hardwood solid and laminate boards that are precision-milled to make a solid frame, one that won’t twist, warp or crack. Joints are held solid with mortise and tenon or double-dowel and corner block construction. These construction techniques give us confidence in offering a lifetime warranty on their frames.
With the launch of the EcoRowe initiative, the company has made a solid commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing processes and sustainable product development. EcoRowe focuses on crucial elements in their future selection of fabrics produced from natural fibers, renewable fibers, and the use of wood from replenished, domestic forests for the frames and the choice of two eco-friendly seat cushion cores.
Rowe’s eco-cushion core contains plant-based, renewable materials that replace significant amounts of petroleum-based materials used in standard foam cushions. Their eco-down blend cushion core is a modern combination of high-resiliency foam with recycled fiber and a blend of duck feather and down. The cotton ticking used to encase the feather and down is no longer bleached.
Each piece of Rowe and Robin Bruce furniture will include eco-wood and eco-cushion cores. With your choice of fabrics, you can create a complete eco-friendly piece of furniture.
Eco-Friendly Materials Used in Production
Arm cardboard: 100% recycled paperboard
Corrugated cardboard: greater than 25% made from recycled corrugated containers
Down cushions filler made from recycled plastic bottles and ticking material is no longer bleached
Springs: made from recycled iron ore
Nails/Screws: Uncoated. Instead, water-based lubricant is used.
Foam: a percentage of the Polyol chemicals come from plant-based renewable, raw materials. In addition, the foam is PBDE free and is manufactured without the use of any flame retardants.
Cotton: 97% recycled materials
Wovens/Non-Wovens: Some bleaching process eliminated
Healthy outdoor living means protecting the environment. Today more designers and consumers are interested in ecologically-friendly designs and products. Sturdy, durable outdoor furniture with a long lifespan is more appealing than “disposable” furniture meant to last only a few seasons.
Products That Withstand the Test of Time
Just ask around, Homecrest customers are well aware of the longevity of their products. Many consumers have had Homecrest outdoor patio furniture that is over 30 years old, and they are still using it with great satisfaction.
Homecrest Outdoor Living products are designed and tested for an extended life cycle to reduce their impact on the environment. They consistently conduct testing at higher levels than the industry requires, ensuring their product life span for many years.
Their outdoor patio furniture frames are aluminum, steel and wrought iron, all of which are recyclable materials. In addition, the cardboard cartons used to ship Homecrest furniture are recyclable and their packaging is designed to have as minimal an environmental impact as possible. Chairs, chaises and tables are packed in multiple-units to reduce packaging.
Heat from the finishing ovens is captured to help warm the manufacturing facility in cold weather. A significant concern as temperatures in Minnesota can plummet to 10 – 20 degrees below zero in the winter months.
All processes meet or exceed EPA standards. The plant cleaning and finishing systems are water-born, not chemical-born, protecting their employees and the environment. The amount of hazardous waste and VOC emissions is nearly non-existent. The wash stages for products are cascaded so that water is used many times before disposal.
Since 1921 Fairfield Chair Company has been a family-owned business operating its facility in Lenoir, North Carolina.
They sell their products throughout United States and in many foreign countries. In order to protect the health and well being of their community, employees, customers and planet, they take a proactive approach to protecting the environment. It is their goal to protect and preserve the environment and its natural resources while designing, manufacturing, and distributing quality furniture products for customers.
They will also strive to adopt their own standards where laws or regulations either do not exist or do not adequately protect the environment.
Fairfield Chair Company will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations. To achieve this goal, they will: Identify and modify corporate practices which result in hazards to employees, the general public, or the environment.
They will establish meaningful performance goals for reducing these hazards that are measurable and track performance with the aim of achieving continuous improvement. Encourage employees to report company practices that may have an adverse environmental impact and suggest modifications that could reduce or eliminate the environmental impact.
Their employees are their greatest asset. Their cooperation is vital to their ability to identify, modify and prevent corporate practices that may be harmful to the environment.
Work closely with governmental agencies, trade associations, community groups and others to develop and implement effective environmental laws and regulations.
They will take all appropriate steps to ensure that they meet or exceed all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
Make pertinent environmental information available to employees, governmental authorities, and the general public. Their goal is to establish a constructive dialogue regarding environmental issues with all interested parties.
Make health, safety, and environmental considerations a priority in their strategic planning for existing and future products, processes and facilities.