Nearly every serious brand or product has some sort of “green” message these days. While this is a positive thing, unfortunately, much of it is just messaging, and in most cases their approach to being “eco-friendly” is limited to one aspect of the product. One of the eight design criteria that make up our rigorous Designed for Life philosophy, is to utilize only sustainable inputs in our products. As we pursue purity in our commitment to this very high bar for design, we are refining all aspects of our supply chain.

Nearly every serious brand or product has some sort of “green” message these days. While this is a positive thing, unfortunately, much of it is just messaging, and in most cases their approach to being “eco-friendly” is limited to one aspect of the product. One of the eight design criteria that make up our rigorous Designed for Life philosophy, is to utilize only sustainable inputs in our products. As we pursue purity in our commitment to this very high bar for design, we are refining all aspects of our supply chain.

Repreve: Bottles go in.
Photo courteously provided by our sustainability partner, Repreve.

One of our earliest and most impactful moves was the discovery that through a relatively new process, we could manufacture the millions of yards of polyester fabric that upholsters all of our Sactionals pieces as they come out of the box (before adding one’s desired washable and changeable decorative covers over top) using yarn extruded from 100% recycled plastic water bottles. In our first year transitioning to this new fabric, we estimate to have repurposed more than 17 million plastic bottles from the waste stream—catapulting us to become the single largest recycler of plastic into consumer home décor fabric in the US. We are on a path utilize only sustainable inputs for all components of our Sactionals couches and their covers and for all products across every product line that we make. This commitment, along with living up to the other 7 of the 8 DFL requirements, is a commitment to what we believe is true sustainability—products that can actually sustain…for life.

Big initiatives that require the pooling of resources to create larger systems that can benefit many (like sewer systems, police forces or the education of children) should be the purview of governments. But for the earth to remain “clean” and for a more sustainable way of life to be achieved, it is necessary for individuals everywhere to evolve the way they think, make choices, consume, and live. Companies and individual business leaders are in a position to make an even larger impact. They can choose to continue to exploit consumers, as most still do, in pursuit of endless profits above all else, or companies can choose to deploy their significant resource, capital, manpower, and megaphone to drive new behavior. As explained in the previous post, the endgame for Lovesac, if successful, will be to actually shrink the overall furniture category we compete in.

Repreve: Recycled yarn comes out
Photo courteously provided by our sustainability partner, Repreve.

We are thus inherently limiting the size to which Lovesac can grow—at least in any one product category—and the broader implication is that perhaps many other categories out there should shrink too! They’ve grown too large in this cycle of irresponsible design and learned over-consumption. At first blush, this notion can feel like a negative—like it is economically unviable or directly counter to the free-market capitalistic principles that have lifted so many people and even whole countries out of poverty and into prosperity. But we celebrate capitalism! We intend to use capitalism and promote conscious consumerism to effectuate our cause—at mass scale! The money that might have been spent on another throwaway couch will simply find other places to go and the overall economy will still grow. Perhaps there can be more meals eaten out, more life-rich experiences together, or more vacations spent with those you love most! Or perhaps more there can be more saving, more education, or more growing of wealth through investment in new technologies and systems that benefit mankind in greater ways than just the endless consumption and destruction of stuff.

Sustainability sometimes require the necessity of limiting growth.

For now, this leader and this company chooses to a path that is Designed for Life. We are absolutely motivated to achieve radical commercial success, dominate our market, and sell our products to everyone, hoping that other capitalists, designers, entrepreneurs and business leaders, even if motivated by greed might adopt our strategy to compete in other categories, dominating and shrinking them too, along the way. Not because we preach it—but because we prove it through capitalistic means…and this more conscious way of doing business resonates with people.

Shawn

About Shawn

Founder & CEO of Lovesac, a Designed for Life furniture company. I have a goal of building products that are truly sustainable. Would you believe, I won a $1 million investment on Fox’s “Rebel Billionaire” show in 2005 and became President of Virgin Worldwide with Richard Branson’s companies for a time. Since then, I'm growing Lovesac to a 65+ store chain, recognized in Furniture Today as America’s fastest growing furniture retailer. I'm becoming known for my invention of Sactionals® Lovesac’s industry-disruptive sofa invention. Check out my vlog on YouTube! Get Off The Couch, with Shawn Nelson of Lovesac

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