Design Within Reach announced the launch of six environmentally conscious product lines. The new introductions can be viewed in Design Within Reach's April 2008 catalog entitled "What is Green?". The new pieces range from sleep solutions to seating to useful household tools, and address different aspects of sustainability.
"We are pleased to introduce an assortment of well-designed, environmentally conscious products," said Ray Brunner, Chief Executive Officer. "By combining form, function and intelligent use of natural, renewable and recycled materials, these new products epitomize the principles of modern design. What these objects share with the entire DWR assortment is the fact that they last. Whether we're speaking to a chair or a serving utensil, an object that lasts won't have to be replaced, and that, in my opinion, is the best definition of green."
The handmade, 100% natural and organic Be Well Collection is Design Within Reach's latest introduction in the bedding category. Designed by certified bau-biologist Mary Cordaro, the Be Well Mattress has a core of pure, natural Talalay latex that comes from the rubber tree. A renewable resource, natural latex is durable and won't sag over time. Using a centuries-old hand-tufting technique, the latex core is wrapped in soft organic fabric quilted to organic cotton and Pure Grow Wool. The domestic wool Cordaro uses is undyed and comes from sheep that graze in pesticide-free pastures. Because wool is naturally flame resistant, the Be Well Mattress meets federal flammability standards while being free of all synthetic and chemical flame retardants. The Be Well Collection also includes pillows and mattress protectors.
DWR has added five new rugs to its collection from Maine-based Angela Adams. With designs inspired by nature, the Ocean, Birch, Fern, Grace and Islands rugs are hand-tufted 100% wool with 100% cotton monk's cloth backings attached using a natural rubber latex adhesive. Adams is a proud member of Rugmark, which ensures that her India-made rugs are manufactured in a socially responsible manner. This global nonprofit organization is fighting to end child labor and improve educational opportunities for children in India, Pakistan and Nepal.
Canadian designer Patty Johnson is extending the positive effects of globalization to places that have yet to benefit. To create her Maun Windsor Chair, Johnson went to Peter Mabeo, the founder of the Mabeo Furniture factory in Gaborone, Botswana, with a design brief for a collection of wooden furniture that could be produced by hand. Handcrafted from wood that's harvested from well-managed forests, the Maun is finished with an all-natural soap flake finish. The Maun's design and manufacture is ecologically, aesthetically and culturally sustainable, while bringing long-term benefits to the local craftspeople and community of Botswana.
A new introduction in Design Within Reach's Tools for Living category, the Adonde Collection of stoneware and serving utensils combines versatility, smart design and good stewardship of the earth's resources. Crafted from natural stoneware with hand-appplied mineral enamel, the collection is dishwasher, oven and microwave safe. The three coordinating utensil sets are crafted from FSC-certified jatoba wood finished with natural olive oil.
Also in the Tools for Living category, the Rainwater Hog is a small-scale modular storage tank for collecting rainwater that can be reused for watering plants, washing the car or other purposes. "I was surprised to find the urban-dweller had been completely overlooked when it came to tools for water harvesting," says Sydney-based architect Sally Dominguez, who designed the Rainwater Hog to work as a single unit or in multiples for homeowners, businesses or renters. One unit holds 47 gallons of rainwater. The Rainwater Hog is made of 100% recyclable virgin polyethylene, a durable material that allowed Dominguez to fulfill another goal: shipping the Rainwater Hog entirely without packaging.
Harvested water could be used to irrigate plants growing in another of Design Within Reach's introductions: flower pots made from recycled rubber tires. In this line of Rubber Pots, Tubs and Totes, discarded tires are hand-cut and hand-sewn into vessels that can be used indoors or out as planters, carrying containers or anything else that can benefit from solidly constructed storage. Modeled on ancient leather-crafting techniques, these durable containers are each unique and offer a functional alternative to the landfill.