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Originally published Friday, June 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

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Furniture makers build lasting pieces from recycled materials

All of the wood that Environment Furniture uses is reclaimed from homes, buildings and other structures that have been torn down or abandoned. The company also uses repurposed fabrics, such as vintage military canvas.


The Orange County (Calif.) Register

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Environment Furniture is delivering a dual message: enjoy life and respect the planet.

The company’s collections for the home are made of sustainably harvested wood and other materials that would otherwise be discarded.

“Our core of the business is to work with reclaimed materials,” says Camilla Trigano, the director of marketing at Environment Furniture, which recently opened an expansive showroom in Costa Mesa, Calif.’s SoCo shopping center.

Among the reclaimed wood Environment uses is peroba wood, which comes from a tree that is becoming scarce outside of parks. Its lumber was heavily used in construction throughout southern Brazil.

In 2003, Environment became the first furniture company to establish a reclaimed-peroba exporting operation, Trigano says.

All of the wood Environment uses is reclaimed from homes, buildings and other structures that have been torn down or abandoned. The company also uses repurposed fabrics, such as vintage military canvas.

Soldiers have taken shelter under tents from a durable cotton canvas since the Civil War, Trigano says.

“The idea of community and sharing is a beautiful story,” she says. “Every piece has a story and you can feel its soul.”

Environment also carries Palmpring mattresses, made of hypoallergenic, 100-percent-organic coconut fiber and natural latex. Natural latex helps human weight disperse evenly and supports the body without giving any pressure.

The mattress is also 99.9 percent germ-resistant, Trigano says. The company also offers cushions, pillows and linens.

The home store also carries Arzu Studio Hope rugs woven by Afghan women. As compensation, the women are provided an income, health care and access to education.

At the home-furnishings retailer Room & Board, furniture is crafted from materials such as reclaimed wood, and recycled steel and high-density plastic. Ninety percent of the furniture the store sells is American-made.

“It’s furniture for life,” says Scott Jussila, market manager of the Santa Ana, Calif., showroom.

Among Room & Board’s offerings is the 100-percent-recycled line by Loll Designs, established by the founders of a skateboard park building and design company who wanted to create a sustainable alternative to landfilling their construction waste.

Loll’s all-weather outdoor furniture and accessories are made of 100-percent-recycled plastic, such as milk jugs.

“It goes along with Room & Board’s goal to be sustainable,” Jussila says.

EcoSmart is another brand carried by Room & Board. Its outdoor fireplaces burn bioethanol, a renewable liquid fuel that gives off the warmth of a fire without the smoke and sparks.



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