The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) is celebrating its 5th anniversary at its birthplace, High Point October Market. What started as a series of informal meetings among eco-friends in the furniture business at the South Cone showroom of Gerry Cooklin was formalized in a decision to become a non-profit organization supporting sustainability initiatives throughout the industry at High Point in October 2006.
Among its notable founding members were Harden Furniture and Gat Creek among manufacturers, Room & Board and ABC Carpet & Home among retailers, and Home Furnishings Business and Furniture Today among major media companies. The group also included ranking staff of World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance and one of the two co-founders of the US Green Building Council giving the SFC instant credibility.
The first order of business was drafting standards for approval by public consensus to define what it meant to be green in home furnishings. Once in place, the SFC turned its attention to raising awareness, sharing best practices and delivering education which continue as the main priorities today.
The SFC is particularly proud that throughout a very challenging period for the industry over the past several years, the organization has continued to thrive. Membership currently approaches 400, an all-time high, and over 600 participants have graduated from the SFC-sponsored GREENleaders Certified Sustainability Training program, the only significant certified education focused on green home furnishings. They have engaged celebrity designers including Thom Filicia, Alexander Julian, Kathy Ireland and Angelo Surmelis in a consumer print campaign that appears monthly in a variety publications such as Dwell and Luxe. They continue to attract high profile new members such as Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, with Mitchell Gold agreeing to join their Board of Directors.
The SFC recently issued new Exemplary Standards for Retailers, bringing worthy recognition to numerous companies doing truly exceptional things in the area of sustainability. And they help connect buyers and sellers of sustainable goods at markets by distributing thousands of maps of SFC members showing at High Point and periodically staging attention-grabbing events.
For those interested in learning more about the SFC, please join them at their celebration with their customary market party partners, great friends and supporters, The Phillips Collection on Saturday, October 22nd, 4 to 7pm at the IHFC C202 Phillips Showroom.
For those interested in GREENleaders certified training, the course will be offered from 9 am to 4 pm on Wednesday, 10/26. To register, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-967-1137.