A certification owned by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) that validates a product's reduced environmental impact in a number of different categories.
The Forest Stewardship Council is an organization devoted to preserving healthy forests. The organization certifies products with its FSC label which it describes as “the world’s most trusted mark for sustainable forestry.” Key features that the label certifies include: zero deforestation, fair wages and work environments, biodiversity preservation, and community rights.
There are three variations of FSC certification, which the Forest Stewardship Council explains as :
- FSC 100% – All materials used come from responsibly managed, FSC-certified forests.
- FSC Recycled – The product is made from 100% recycled materials.
- FSC Mix – The product is made with a mixture of materials from FSC-certified forests, recycled materials, and/or FSC-controlled wood. While controlled wood doesn’t come from FSC-certified forests, it mitigates the risk of the material originating from unacceptable sources.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a group that certifies multiple industries, including textiles used in furniture, to capture attributes related to organic fiber and ecological and social criteria. Look for this label to insure you are choosing products with organic textiles that are sourced from green supply chains.
GREENGUARD certification verifies that the level of harmful airborne chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), meet rigorous standards to reduce the risk of chemical exposure to consumers. For more information on the benefits of GREENGUARD certification, its history, and GREENGUARD certified brands, check out our GREENGUARD article!
Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals emitted as gasses from many common products, including household furniture. In home furnishings, VOCs can come from paint, solvents used in manufacturing, fabric coatings designed to reduce stains or increase water resistance, and many more. Exposure to these chemicals has been shown to cause eye and skin irritation, dizziness, nausea as well as many more temporary conditions. In addition, many suspect that VOCs could contribute to more serious, long term health issues.