High Point Furniture Market 2011

Furniture Market Shows Increased Interest in Sustainability

High Point Furniture Market is the largest furniture industry trade show in the world. Of the 80,000 attendees, 10% are international clients. Over 2,000 furnishings manufacturers from all over the United States and the world brought their products to the show. Because of the increasing awareness by designers and the general public, a strong interest in environmentally safe products was seen.


The Sustainable Furnishings Council staged a public event called The Great Buzz Off.  TV personality and designer, Thom Filicia, was the emcee. They did a side by demonstration of the difference between sustainable and ordinary products by cutting them apart with knives, scissors, and a circular saw. It featured comparisons between upholstery and case goods, with each layer progressively peeled away and explained — organic vs. polyester, recycled milk jugs vs. spun Dacron, solid and/or certified wood vs. MDF and veneer, water-based finish vs. varnish, etc. The crowd loved this entertaining and informative experience.


In addition, the Sustainable Furnishings Council hosted classes in understanding sustainability as it applies to home furnishings.


The show was not as packed with attendees as in years past, but it did show a slight upswing in attendance. The stronger upswing was in the increasing interest in sustainable furnishings and the companies that showed their environmental stance.