The message from furniture makers is loud and clear - love your home, love the environment.
Contrary to what most people think, stylish design can go hand in hand with environmental protection. Furniture makers are adept at incorporating green concepts with production.
Indigo Living delivers stylish designs while staying true to its pledge of caring for the environment in the production and merchandising processes. Its Oak Shadow collection uses the least possible amount of wood from renewable forests. Its Sentosa collection is made of teak from renewable forests. Teak is not only a beautiful source of wood, but also durable and can be recycled easily.
There are some simple criteria that the environmentally conscious consumer can observe when choosing furniture. Johnny Lui, marketing and sales manager of I & D Home Concept, explains: 'Furniture makers must satisfy two conditions before they can call themselves 'green'. One, manage the use of wood resources carefully and safeguard their sustainability. Make sure they are given sufficient time to regrow after cutting. Two, the end products must not release harmful substances that pollute the environment.'
It is important for smart shoppers to check out the carbon footprint of the production of furniture and the amount of formaldehyde the finished products may release in a home setting.
'Most of the toxic substances in furniture come from the paint and glue,' Lui says. It takes 35 years for a tree to grow and mature. In order to save our precious forests, wooden furniture today is mostly created with panels made of compressed wood chips.
The Consumer Council encourages furniture makers to adopt greener ways of production. But there is a lack of legally binding industry standards in Hong Kong, Lui says. He urges shoppers to ask for more information about the source of the materials.