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From Home Furnishing Business

Sustainable Furnishings Council Releases Glossary for Circular Design

The Sustainable Furnishings Council has released a new digital publication aimed at helping furniture manufacturers apply design concepts of the circular economy to their businesses.

Titled “Circular Design Glossary: Furniture and Furnishings,” the publication was produced in collaboration with mebl | Transforming Furniture, a New York-based advocacy group, and SOMA, a Milan, Italy-based consulting firm that specializes in circular design issues.

“There’s a lot of power in shared language when creating change. So we developed this glossary to support industry players in taking their first – or next – step towards a sustainable and circular future,” said Scarlette Tapp, SFC’s executive director.

The publication is available for free download on the SFC’s website,

“We’ve selected tangible, inspiring circular design applications – from sofas to tables to lighting – that illustrate real-life solutions to today’s problematic linear ‘take-make-waste’ way of living,” added mebl’s Founder and CEO Michael Hirschhorn. 

The glossary is an independent, non-sponsored resource featuring:

  • 40+ circular design concepts, case studies and photographs
  • innovative furniture & furnishings companies 
  • emerging & established designers 
  • insights, inspiration and concrete applications for practitioners

The SFC said this tool provides a reference point for practitioners in the furniture and furnishings industries – from designers to product-line managers to the C-suite. New and emerging circular trends highlighted in the glossary are also highly relevant to interior designers, retailers and media managers, as well as to marketing, sales and transportation professionals. 

The glossary shares a wealth of concrete examples for furniture companies interested in shifting from a linear to a circular economy,” observed Emily McGarvey, director of sustainability at retailer Room & Board. “Common understanding inspires more actionable conversations. In this way, the glossary offers shared language along with clear illustrations that will help move Room & Board’s sustainability efforts forward as we collaborate and learn together.”

The Circular Glossary provides the kind of education that motivates,” added Gat Caperton, CEO of Gat Creek, a West Virginia-based case goods producer. “Our factory came to life in the 1970s repairing and making reproductions of antique furniture. So it is wildly encouraging to learn in the glossary about how contemporary ‘reuse’ and modern “antique stores” are bringing better and more accessible furniture into the marketplace. The glossary will motivate many companies toward further action on sustainability.”

The e-publication is being released to coincide with Climate Week NYC, which brings together business, government, the United Nations and the environmental movement to support climate action.

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