Conversations on Sustainable Design

New Homes and Ideas Magazine / Summer 2014

Jodi Sauerbier, Publisher of New Homes and Ideas Magazine, accompanied interior designer, Linda Zoffer of del ZIO Designs Interiors to High Point Furniture Market. The magazine had never attended the eleven million square foot international event and was intrigued by the fact that so many manufacturers and vendors have become aware of and further involved with sustainability in the world of furniture and furnishings.

The words “sustainable” and “green” are used extensively these days but what do they mean and how is the furniture industry involved in it? “Green” is used mainly as a marketing word: green design, green products, etc. “Sustainable” refers to maintaining viability, and in this case, ecologically-friendly design, manufacture and lifestyle. To encourage responsiveness in this area of “sustainability”, the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), was founded in October 2006 by Jerry Cooklin to raise awareness within the home furnishings industry to help preserve the world’s forests. He is the founder of PaTs, a Peruvian nonprofit organization in the Peruvian amazon.

He has been working since 2000 with the Yanesha indigenous community members to become artisans and business people to create a sustainable living for their families while preserving their forests. The rain forest has been the primary source of wood for his furniture company, South Cone, and he realized that he had an obligation to protect it. He is a native Peruvian, a dedicated naturalist and has written several books.