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Introducing The Circular Design Glossary: Furniture and Furnishings

A Sustainability Essentials Webinar

  Sustainable Furnishings Council |  

SFC and mebl | Transforming Furniture Introduce The Circular Design Glossary for Furniture and Furnishings

September 15, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm EST

What does 'close the loop' really mean? What are 'embedded impacts'? How does 'biodesign' differ from 'biomimicry'?

We believe the very first step to a ‘circular future’ is accessible information and awareness. This Circular Design Glossary aims to improve understanding of the circular economy and design, with a particular focus on furniture and furnishings. We’re striving for clear definitions of key concepts, combined with an illustration of each. We’ve tried to select tangible and inspiring applications within the furniture and furnishing sectors – from sofas to lighting.  

To understand the circular future we’re moving towards, let’s first take a quick look at our current ‘linear’ system.  We live in a world in which the economic system follows “take-make-waste” logic. Our current “linear economy” extracts finite resources to make products that are used – largely not to their full potential -- and then thrown away, generating waste and pollution. And then we churn out yet more new chairs, tables, and lamps. 

Meantime, climate change and social-economic inequalities confirm that the linear economic model isn’t working for either the environment, people, or business.  So how can we transform this throwaway paradigm into a sustainable and regenerative system?

We believe the answer lies in the 'circular economy.’  This is a paradigm which incorporates the natural world’s cyclical models, keeping resources in use as long as possible, then reincorporating these resources to help regenerate the earth at the end of a product’s useful life. In short, the circular economy is based on three fundamental principles: eliminate waste and pollution,  keep products and materials in use, and  regenerate ecosystems.

At the heart of the circular economy is design, deployed up front as a powerful tool to determine how something is manufactured, used, and ultimately discarded. Design choices – according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – are responsible for 80% of the environmental impact of products, systems, and services.

Our glossary’s ultimate goal is to build bridges and enable collaboration by turning circular concepts into shared language and accessible practices. As illustrations, we have included established as well as emerging designers and brands working towards the transition to a circular economy. As we had to choose only one illustration per concept, we know there are many other incredible circular practitioners out there, creating amazing furniture and furnishings. 

Content also includes a synopsis of GREENleaders, the industry's first certified sustainability training course. Expect helpful information you can begin using in your business immediately as well as answers to your questions about getting the most out of SFC membership.

Click HERE to register!

September 15th, 2022 12:00 PM through  1:00 PM