Thursday, June 28, 2007

knú: Sustainable Furniture, as Green as it Gets

Grand Rapids and West Michigan are famous for unique, creative furniture designs. knú takes it a step further, pushing the Midwest furniture industry toward sustainability. From suppliers to manufacturing to online sales, knú is riding the crest of the green wave. It's just like surfing Lake Michigan.

knú has recently partnered with IBM and Shared Vision to create an e-commerce site to sell furniture online; knú will save trees and energy by not producing bulk mail catalogs to clog landfills. An impressive array of designs is produced from Forest Stewardship Council certified sustainably harvested wood products, the legs and hardware of the furniture is made from 40% post-consumer waste recycled (and fully recyclable) steel, and the few plastics used are also fully recyclable.

knú uses very low VOC finishes to reduce toxic air pollution and greenhouse gases. There are no toxic adhesives used in any of furniture.

In addition, the majority of knú's suppliers are local. 90% are within a 50 mile radius of the manufacturing facility, which by the way, uses highly energy efficient f-bay lighting and infra-red heating.

What's really cool is that knú offsets all of its carbon emissions. 100% of their CO2 created by executive air travel, vehicle use, and the electricity and natural gas used in manufacturing is offset by the purchase of renewable energy certificates and investments in renewable energy. There are very few companies doing this so far, knú is leading the way.

The crew at knú are a group of folks you'll wanna sit down and have a brew with. From the top down they are true West Michigan progressive thinkers, environmental activists, wilderness lovers and outdoorsmen. They are also founding members of the newly formed Sustainable Furniture Council, a non-profit coalition of over 40 small furniture companies doing it the green way.

I'm getting sick of the big corporations telling us that they're green, especially when we know they're just trying to force their crap on us. You've gotta look through the green-washing and see the real folks who are really trying. Well here they are, right in your backyard. Check them out at

No comments: