OUR GREEN INITIATIVE
Historically, the textile industry has had a significant and negative impact on the environment. Both natural fibers and synthetic ones require vast amounts of water for processing, and use chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to people. Recently, some manufacturers have adopted sustainable practices in their processing, using recycled plastic to produce synthetic fibers, for example. However, the impact of textile production throughout its life cycle—from raw material to production to use to disposal—is still problematic in our world today.
Silverstone has integrated sustainable practices throughout all aspects of the company—from management to store and warehouse operations, as well as in purchasing and selling. Conservation of resources, recycling of waste, charitable giving and environmental purchasing are the cornerstones of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our company. Central to our business plan and to our green initiative is the rescue and reuse of excess fabrics which are by-products of the furniture industry across the nation.
Fabric and Leather Purchasing
We purchase all of our fabrics and leather from major luxury furniture manufacturers. These factories are often plagued by excess materials that would end up going into the waste stream if not for buyers like Silverstone. This is a particularly major concern when the fabric is made from polyesters or acrylics that, although may have been produced from recycled plastic bottles or industrial waste, are not biodegradable. By reclaiming these textiles and offering them for sale to the consumer, Silverstone is keeping non-renewable materials out of landfills. In addition, Silverstone offers many textiles made from natural fibers like wool, silk, linen, bamboo, jute and hemp that are rapidly renewable and biodegradable. Finally, we offer for sale fabric remnants and leathers in partial widths, odd shapes, and small pieces rather than adding them to the waste stream.
Our commercial/contract upholstery service by its very nature is conservation at its best. We offer eco-conscious and economically-minded consumers the choice to recover rather than dispose of furniture. In addition, we rescue excess or discontinued frames from furniture makers and use reclaimed fabrics whenever possible in our upholstery service. Keeping large amounts of wood products out of landfills and reducing dependence on virgin materials further supports Silverstone’s culture of conservation.
Our fabric storage system is comprised almost entirely of storage tubes and cardboard cores purchased from textile or furniture manufacturers that have down-sized or closed. Some of these tubes and bolts have been made from recycled materials, but because they are extremely dense and contain a large amount of glue, they themselves are difficult to recycle, and thus rarely recycled. Extending the useful life of these cardboard and paperboard materials is one of our most important sustainable practices.
A great majority of our equipment and fixtures (or the lumber to construct fixtures) has been acquired from thrift stores (Habitat for Humanity Restore, Ram’s Rack, Crossnore School, etc.) and liquidators, thereby keeping large items that do not biodegrade easily out of the waste stream.
Approximately 80% of our shipping materials are recycled or repurposed. Cardboard boxes, corrugated packaging, and plastic wrapping have been acquired either through reuse or through purchase from industrial liquidation warehouses.
Office, Warehouse and Retail Policies
Silverstone purchases 100% recycled paper and envelopes for office use.
Paperless office practices are used whenever possible, including paperless billing and banking, electronic archiving of documents, use of double-sided documents, and email.
Reuse and recycling of paper for internal use, turning off lights and equipment when not in use, use of climate curtains to conserve heating fuel, and water-saving efforts are integral parts of our green initiative.
Silverstone uses earth-friendly cleaning supplies, including recycled paper products, and cleaners free of petrochemicals and chemical fragrances.
Silverstone recycles most of its waste, including paper, cardboard, plastic, food and drink containers, pallets, waste fabric, and printer/toner cartridges. Any organic food waste that we generate is either composted or placed outside for local wildlife.
Our staff regularly participates in fund-raising efforts for local charities, and volunteers at churches and other agencies.
Fabric and leather remnants are donated to Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts, and community centers, churches and schools.
All fabrics, leather hides and trim purchased for resale were originally excess inventory of furniture manufactures. These by-products would otherwise end up in the waste stream.
Whenever possible, we purchase 100% post-consumer recycled paper and plastic that contains post-industrial recycled content and is also recyclable.