Aware of the growing need to guard the planet, Vanguard Furniture takes a leading position in the industry in developing environmentally-conscious furnishings. Sustainability is more than a program — it is a way of life. Working in all areas of the Vanguard enterprise, from suppliers to their manufacturing process, they emphasize reducing waste and using sustainable elements.
Vanguard joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council in 2007 to help understand ways in which their manufacturing process could become sustainable. Sustainable practices are those that balance environmental and social concerns as well as the usual economic concerns.
The bulk of the waste created during the manufacturing process is recycled by Vanguard. Their corporate goal is to recycle 100% of all post-manufacturing waste in order to eliminate landfill needs. Each year, nearly 24,000 pounds of plastic from containers and packaging is recycled, along with over 180,000 pounds of fabric. All fabric and wood waste is sent via partners to be recycled or re-manufactured for other uses, rather than being sent to landfills.
The majority of Vanguard case goods have panels with cores that are sourced from certified well-managed facilities according to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Vanguard partners with a founding member of the FSC for laminated wood, which is used in frame construction with yields of approximately 85% from one 4x6 sheet of plywood. In certain cases, Vanguard uses wood products from unusual sources, such as used car crates, to be re-manufactured into high-quality furnishings. They partner with local manufacturers to ensure that their wood scraps are utilized in a recycled manner. Currently, Vanguard wood scraps provide fuel for a manufacturer's boiler. Dust created through wood-working is converted into a recycled, saleable material.
The majority of Vanguard cushion options include a mix of duck feathers and down, which are all natural by-products. Vanguard's coils contain more than 80% scrap or recycled material. The manufacturing process uses no chemicals or hazardous materials, and all finished springs are shipped in recycled-paper cartons. All of Vanguard's polyurethane foam products are certified by the CertiPUR-US. This certification has the most extensive testing standards in North America. One of the main benefits is the assurance that the products do not contain harmful materials such as lead, mercury and PBDE fire retardants.
Many Vanguard fabrics are made of 100% natural fibers such as cotton, wool and linen. Vanguard continually works with vendors so that they may offer fabrics that are created with recycled materials. If not 100% natural, many of Vanguard’s fabrics contain recycled polyester components, or are made with 100% post-industrial recycled polyester fibers.
Vanguard also offers several fabrics that have been salvaged from other resources. Whether it's a patched and worn truck tarp or a 100-year-old hemp feed sack from France, Vanguard loves to take advantage of the eco-chic trend and use up-cycled fabrics for statement-making upholstery pieces.