Photo by permission of Viesso of a Gente sofa
For years, Furnature was the only company making eco-friendly furniture. Over night it seemed more and more furniture companies started making their furniture with an eye towards sustainability.
Remember my friend who needed the eco-couch that I spoke about in my article, “Shouldn’t Your In-Laws Sleep Well?” One night as I was surfing the web looking for her I found Viesso by mistake. To be honest, I thought here we go again. Another company claiming that it is green just because they use FSC certified woods. What about the toxic glues, the stains, and the cushions? Shouldn’t they be green too?
As I continue to look through their website, I found Viesso to be the real green deal. The Company sells chair, sofas, sectionals, benches, tables, rugs and accessories. Since I was focusing on a sleeper couch for my friend, I found that a customer can purchase an upholstered furniture piece which contains sustainable harvested wood , eco-friendly fabrics, natural latex cushions, low voc stains and sealers, and recycled stainless steel legs. That’s pretty green in my book.
What I love about Viesso’s online ordering website is customers can opt to be as green as they want since you can customize your furniture piece by choosing different options.
How does this all work? First, you select the style that you like, and then select your type of seat cushion. There is a choice of natural latex, polyurethane foam, or a combination of down and natural latex. You continue through the process by selecting the type of fabric and leg style you like. What makes this website so great is when you are done with your selections you know how much the product costs. If you overspent, then you can just go back and change some features. Click through their flash demo to see how easy it is to customize your furniture. It takes three weeks to manufacturer your furniture. All furniture is manufactured in the USA. Freight charges are based upon where you live.
All of the couches appear to be very contemporary. I asked Travis Nagel, co-founder of the Company, how you can make the Viesso products more traditional. He suggested opting for a more traditional fabric, smaller cushions, and different legs.
Does the Company also have a green manufacturing attitude?
“All the products we make are custom so there is little to no waste. We don’t have large inventories of products like most companies, because we don’t build it until a customer orders it. This makes our manufacturing process very efficient and reduces our impact on the environment in terms of materials used,” according to the Company.
Not only is the Company forward thinking in how they make their furniture, but are realistic that people’s tastes do change. The Company is in the process of establishing a recycling program with its furniture at no cost to the customer.
So, I decided to take a whirl to customize a much needed sofa at my house. I chose the Gente couch in the 84 inch length. (I picked this size because my decorator told me this is the right size for my room. Otherwise, I am clueless.) Then I picked an 8-way Hand Tied Coil, 100% natural latex foam for the seat cushions and the back pillows in a medium firmness, Pistachio fabric, and James dark walnut legs.
The Pistachio fabric was made by Knoll Textiles rated for 100,000 rubs for maximum child rough and tumble use. The content of the fabric is 55% recycled polyester-post industrial, 33% polyester, and 12% cotton. The total cost of the couch was $2591. If this price is too much I could easily go back and change my order.
I asked Travis, what should a popular sized couch cost at Viesso? He responded using my “Gente” model as an example.
“For the Gente model in 84″, it starts at $1408 and can go up from there to $2250 with feathers and the better spring system. That same size can go up to $4000 if you choose some of the really expensive fabrics. A large range, all depending on the custom options you choose. The 84″ or 96” is a pretty common size for a sofa. Our sectionals are very popular as well.”
Are you hesitant to order over the web? There is a store in Santa Monica open to the public with all the different models and custom options as well as a huge fabric wall. The Company is hoping to open showrooms in New York City and San Francisco by the end of 2008.
Just to give you an idea, Travis told me they have taken orders online from 25 different states via the internet. Additionally, they send fabric samples, and talk to customers over the phone to assist them in their decisions. At the present time, only customers residing in the United States can order online. However, all international orders can be taken by phone.
Viesso also sells eco-friendly natural latex beds in addition to other products. According to Travis, beds seem to be bought via the internet more readily since you do not need to sit on it.
“As we grow and people become more familiar with our brand, I expect even more people to purchase without coming to one of our showrooms. We haven’t had one person yet that ordered a sofa or bed online that has not been happy with the result.”
If you are absolutely clueless as to design like I am or just need some help, Viesso, staff makes “home” visits.If you live in the LA area and are interested in Viesso products, they will visit your company or home for a $100 fee to help you pick out products. In the event you order any product from them, they will apply the $100 to your order.
Like I said before, Viesso is the real deal: quality furniture as green as you can afford or want, beautifully designed, three week lead time to order, and a Company’s commitment to the environment. What more can you ask?