Sustainable Furnishings Council - What it Does:
The Sustainable Furnishings Council, or SFC, defines itself as "a non-profit balanced coalition of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and designers formed to promote sustainable practices with the best networking and education in our industry."
It helps consumers and Home Furnishings industry professionals with support, education, and working to define standards for sustainability.
The 2010 ONE GOOD WORLD ECOngress organized by SFC brought together lawmakers, manufacturers, and retailers to discuss legal wood sourcing and how to build green markets.
Sustainable Furnishings Council - Background:
Sustainable Furnishings Council, was created in High Point, North Carolina in October 2006.
The organization was founded by Gerry Cooklin of South Cone, who had been in the process of greening his own company. His passion and eco-consciousness led him to organize small meetings with like minded manufacturers at the High Point Furniture Market. That in turn led to the founding of the organization which was originally called the Sustainable Furniture Council.
As membership grew, SFC got its present name to reflect its membership. Today, the SFC boasts over 400 members and is still growing.
How SFC Helps the Home Furnishings Industry and Consumers:
Quite possibly, the biggest challenge facing consumers and industry professionals alike, is a standard definition of green and sustainability. The SFC is trying to develop standards and certification processes for the entire home furnishings industry. The organization is also affiliated with WWF, the Rainforest Alliance and USGBC.
SFC Benefits to Consumers:
The Sustainable Furnishings Council recognizes that the green movement is a consumer driven movement, and sustainability depends on benefits to consumers as well as manufacturers and retailers.
- SFC provides a searchable database of green manufacturers, retailers and designers for the consumer
- It rates product on their green factor, to make it easier for consumers differentiate between different degrees of green
- Educates and raises consumer awareness through different channels
How SFC Helps Members:
The Sustainable Furnishings Council helps its members in many different ways. Among other things:
- Being a member brings credibility to a company's green messaging because SFC provides members with current information about green developments and products.
- To help members understand different facets of sustainability and how consumers see it, SFC has begun a series of surveys related to "consumer awareness, attitudes, and interests related to green issues in the furniture industry." The results of the first survey have been made available to members.
- Helps with training staff to understand green products and features
- Helps with marketing
- Members are placed in a searchable database