Leading textile manufacturer Designtex, New York, N.Y., has launched an upholstery line that’s so green, it’s gold—achieving the first third-party verified gold level certification under the facts™ ecolabel developed by the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT). This certification recognizes the three styles of the Gold Standard collection—Concept, Pop Art, and Precision—as meeting stringent criteria for environmental sustainability.
The facts™ ecolabel is issued only after companies demonstrate to a third-party certifier that their products meet requirements in eight key parameters across the product lifecycle, comprising: fiber sourcing, safety of materials, water conservation, water quality, energy, recycling practices, air quality in manufacturing, and social accountability. These requirements are based on the NSF/ANSI 336 standard, the principal standard used in the United States to evaluate and certify the sustainability of commercial furnishings.
Guided by a strong environmental vision, Designtex has employed lifecycle thinking to frame its environmental design process for close to two decades, and this recognition for the Gold Standard collection allows the company to further demonstrate its commitment to transparency and environmental stewardship. “This certification, at the gold level of an exacting sustainability standard, is a cumulative reward for the careful approach taken by the textile supply chain from dyers and yarn manufactures to weavers and distributors,” says Carol Derby, vice president of research and development for Designtex.
The Designtex research and development team worked closely with the mill to eliminate a host of harmful chemicals from the yarns and dyestuffs, while vice president of design Kimberle Frost contributed to the refinement of the color palette, developing a range of intense and vibrant hues. As a result, the vitality of the Gold Standard collection celebrates this milestone in textile sustainability, offering a material expression of the forward-thinking and life-affirming vision guiding its creation.
- The collection has undergone screening at 100 parts per million against the NSF/ANSI 336 standard’s list of chemicals known or suspected to have deleterious effects. This list overlaps with many “red lists” currently used in the contract marketplace, including those associated with the Living Building Challenge, the EPA’s Chemical Action Plans, and the Chemical Avoidance Pilot Credit in LEED.
- The collection meets California Section 01350 for VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions, the most stringent standard in the United States governing indoor air quality.
- The fabrics are free of any topical finishes, yet boast lasting beauty due to their polyester construction, which is among the most easily cleanable fibers. The fabrics can be maintained with a variety of cleaning agents, including green solutions, further promoting improved indoor air quality.
- The construction from 100 percent postconsumer recycled polyester is highly sustainable, and the uniform fiber content facilitates future recycling, since no separation of constituent elements is required at end-of-use.