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sustainable upholstery

Sustainable Upholstery

After you decide to purchase upholstered chairs, you have another big question to ask yourself. What type of upholstery should I choose? There are so many different types on the market depending on what you are looking for in a fabric. More of our clients want to purchase sustainable upholstery to go with their sustainable hardwood chairs. Why is sustainable upholstery important? What makes upholstery sustainable? What is the Healthier Hospital Initiative? Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions and more.


What type of upholstery should I choose?

Most Eustis Chair products are available in wood or upholstered seats. Upholstered seats can be covered in any commercially available fabric (COM) or leather (COL). Different types of fabrics or leathers are better for different venues. For example, a high-traffic dining hall at a private school would likely want to choose different materials than a country club meeting room. Eustis Chair is available to help our clients choose the right material for their chairs. We have worked with the following suppliers:


Why is sustainable upholstery important?


Sustainable products help to protect both humans and our natural environment. True sustainability means a product has a long useful life and does not harm us or the planet. Sustainable products should reduce waste and, if possible, they should reuse other materials. 


What makes upholstery sustainable?


Some fabric products have harmful toxins added to them. Sustainable initiatives should include reducing the number of harmful chemicals in products. These toxins can be found in a number of places in the fabric industry.  Flame retardants can have an effect on both child and fetal brain development. Indoor air quality is important. If workers at a business do not have clean air it can greatly impact their health and their work output. Antimicrobial additives sound good in theory, but their use may make bacteria more resistant to treatment. PFCs are utilized as a stain-resistant finish on some fabrics. These PFCs have been found to have a link to disrupting hormones and potentially even causing cancer. PVC is added to some products to make it more flexible. PVC is now known as a possible endocrine disruptor. Sustainable materials use safer chemicals in their fabrics and are made to last.


What is the Healthier Hospital Initiative?


The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is a successful challenge taken on by thousands of hospitals and health systems to make their operations more environmentally friendly. The HHI encourages shifts to more sustainable practices. This includes using safer chemicals and using smarter practices when purchasing items for the hospital, such as purchasing hardwood chairs with sustainable upholstery. It is important for all our clients, not just hospitals, to make evidence-based decisions when it comes to our environment.  


According to the recent HHI report, “the cumulative impact of HHI programs includes:

  • More than 50 million pounds of materials recycled, plus an additional 61.5 million pounds of construction and demolition waste, were kept out of landfills through reuse and recycling.
  • About $32 million in savings from single-use medical device reprocessing.
  • Nearly $9 million was spent on local/sustainable food options.
  • Almost $19 million was spent on healthier, PVC/DEHP-free medical products.”

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