What It Means to Be a Sustainable Furniture Company: Designing With Sustainability in Mind
- February 15, 2022
- Anthony Bowie
Schools and workspaces of the future are designed with environmental sustainability in mind for everything from architectural design and creative reuse to the furniture pieces we use in the spaces we create. Design decision-makers in these spaces need to not only consider the impact their furniture choices will have during the lifetime of each furniture piece in its intended space, but also the sustainability impacts of those same furniture pieces at the beginning and end of their life. When designing schools and workspaces with the environment in mind, partnering with a sustainable-driven furniture company is an asset to minimize your project’s environmental impact.
Here at MiEN Company, our products are designed and manufactured with environmental sustainability in mind. Through innovative design and use of high-quality raw materials, our products balance durability with comfort and style to ensure a long and useful life. These environmental considerations and more make up our company’s commitment to advance our sustainability footprint, which drives the way we do business, the products we offer, and the practices we utilize in designing innovative spaces.
The sustainability of your furniture begins with the design of each product and the materials used to build each component. We utilize materials that are readily available and easily recycled to ensure furnishings’ long-term function and durability.
Durability is a key factor in the design process of MiEN products. Products are created to withstand long-term use, including mobile products’ ability to be regularly moved throughout spaces. Surface material durability is considered not only in terms of regular use, but also how materials hold up to regular cleaning and disinfection with commercial products over time. As products begin to show wear, some components––such as worn seat pads––can easily be removed with basic tools and replaced to extend the useful life of the product.
At MiEN, we source our materials responsibly and with environmental sustainability and health in mind. A few examples include…. Desktops include CARB II compliant particleboard core material that sustainably harvested and FSC certified. Additional desktop materials including laminates, backer materials, and glue are Greenguard certified for low chemical emissions. The OAR product line includes up to 25% recycled material content, is PVC free, and can be separated into 100% recyclable materials. Additionally, we’re collaborating with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE to utilize sustainable upholstery fabric from diverted and recycled marine plastic.
Many of the materials used in MiEN Company products are comprised of easily-recyclable materials such as steel, aluminum, and polypropylene. Furniture components can easily be separated to recycle individual materials at end-of-life.
Because many products are modular and/or component-based, reuse and reconfiguration is achievable and encouraged. The ability for furniture to evolve with the space aids in prolonging the useful life of the product and in delaying waste from reaching the landfill.
Our product lines include seating, tables, and storage pieces that are designed to be functional in a wide range of spaces. Many products offer the option to add casters for easy portability and flexibility as space needs change throughout the day, week, or year-to-year. Even if your design and spaces change completely, furnishings are easily repurposed throughout your school or workplace.
Modular products allow you to rearrange and add-on additional furniture pieces to current layouts as your school or company grows, making these pieces not only an environmentally conscious choice but also a good investment for the long-term.
From the delivery of your furniture to the day it is no longer useful in your space, it’s important to consider the waste that your furniture will create. Partnering with a sustainable-driven company ensures this environmental consideration has already been made during the design and creation of your furnishings.
Product packaging is a major concern in relation to the environment, so the day your furniture arrives, its waste begins to make an impact on the planet. MiEN products are packaged in recyclable cardboard cartons which is widely recyclable and easily diverted from landfills.
MiEN products are designed to be durable and long-lasting, so even if their time in your space has come to an end, furnishings can be reused at schools in need. When these furniture pieces reach their true end-of-life, many products can be separated into multiple components that can be disposed of for recycling.
MiEN Company has always been driven by sustainability, which is reflected in our products and design. Whether we’re retrofitting an older building or designing products build with recyclable or sustainable materials, it is our goal to make an impact on the environmental sustainability of the schools and businesses we furnish.
In the future, we’ll continue to strive for more innovative ways to design spaces with sustainability in mind, including offering a greater range of sustainable products and materials for customers to choose from. We endeavor to shape the conversation around what it means to be a sustainable furniture company and help grow the movement to design with sustainability in mind.