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Mission & History

Mission: Sustainability

The Sustainable Furnishings Council (501c6) is a coalition of manufacturers, retailers and designers dedicated to raising awareness and expanding the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices across the home furnishings industry.  Sustainable Furnishings Education Fund (501c3,) under the same management as SFC, is dedicated to educating furniture consumers, designers and the residential furnishings industry at large on all aspects of sustainability and the impact of our choices in materials, products, and services.

Our mission is to help companies reduce environmental footprint, and to help consumers find healthier products and design services.  Our strategy for industry transformation is to increase interest in environmentally safe furnishings and promote the development of more sustainable options. We provide guidance, education, promotion, and networking opportunities.  

Our vision is of a world that is comfortably and attractively furnished for EVERYONE.   We see the industry designing, producing and distributing in ways that attempt the lowest possible environmental footprint, furnishing healthy interiors and protecting the natural resources that future generations will need for their own health and prosperity.  Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but we believe that a beautiful product avoids harm to health for all of us – whether we are high-end or mass market consumers, whether we are artisans or factory workers or retailers or designers, whether we are upstream or downstream.  Because we are ALL downstream.  


The Sustainable Furnishings Council was created and organized in the showroom of our founder, Gerry Cooklin, at High Point in October, 2006.

For years, Gerry had pursued sustainability as a personal passion. He had an awakening moment while camping in the Sierra Nevadas when he encountered a magnificent Juniper tree at an elevation of over 11,000 feet. He was humbled and, in an instant, recognized his duty to protect the rainforest, a prime source of wood for his furniture company, South Cone. He worked to "green up" his own manufacturing operations and to make a significant difference in his native Peru.  Further, he started to organize small meetings at the High Point Furniture Market, which eventually blossomed into the founding meeting of SFC with some 70 members present. The SFC has since grown to over 400 members, the largest organization of its kind in residential furnishings.

SFEF was formed in 2017 to expand the education work begun by SFC.  SFEF educational programming is directed to all residential furnishings industry professionals and also the furniture consuming public.  As we began, interior design professionals were clamoring for education in all aspects of sustainability. Consumer interest in sustainable home furnishings is rapidly growing, as evidenced by annual research into consumer trends, and they too need a resource for basic information to help them find the furnishings they desire.  SFEF is pleased to fill the gap with online resources as well as programming.

Sustainability Partners 

SFC partners with organizations that share our commitment to eliminating the use of toxic materials in home furnishings and reducing our industry's negative impact on the environment. 

Good Business That’s Good for Business

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that our world is experiencing dangerous global climate change, and equally overwhelming evidence that environmental pollutants are harming our health.  It is urgent that we take immediate steps to minimize carbon emissions, reduce other pollutants, and remove unsustainable materials and harmful chemical inputs from all furnishings product platforms.  

SFC urges the use of Life Cycle Assessment as the best method for analyzing the environmental and health impact of products and a verifiable chain of custody as the only acceptable method for tracking wood flow. SFC members support the triple bottom line of PEOPLE - PLANET - PROFITS and lead the industry in best practices throughout their supply chains. Members are committed to continuous work toward a healthy future, inside and out.