ACT'S GREEN BUSINESS PLAN
Our Zero-Waste Initiative
Historically, the furniture industry has had a significant and negative impact on the environment. Framing elements, padding and fabric or leather coverings required vast amounts of water for processing, and have used chemicals that were harmful to the environment and to people. Recently, some manufacturers have adopted more sustainable practices in their processing, using recycled plastic to produce synthetic fibers, for example. However, the impact of furniture production throughout its life cycle—from raw material to production to use to disposal—is still problematic in our world today.
In addition, furniture manufacturers are often plagued by excess fabric and other materials, much of which end up going into the waste stream. This is a particularly major concern when the fabric is made from polyesters or acrylics that, although may have been produced from recycled plastic bottles or industrial waste, are not biodegradable. For over a decade, our parent company purchased and sold many of these excess materials, keeping non-renewable materials out of landfills and doing our part to reduce the textile industry's environmental footprint.
Abbey Custom Textiles has integrated sustainable practices throughout all aspects of the company—from manufacturing to management to office and warehouse operations, as well as in purchasing and selling. Conservation of resources, recycling of waste, charitable giving and environmental purchasing are the cornerstones of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our company. Central to our business plan and to our green initiative is reducing the production of excess textiles through the efficient use of component-only print-on-demand upholstery fabrics.
CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES
Component Printing is Only the Beginning
Print-On Demand Technology
Abbey offers a collection of true custom-printed fabrics made specifically for the furniture industry. Using digital technology and sublimation printing, Abbey is able to transfer images of your choice onto upholstery and other home decor fabrics. This new process eliminates most of the toxins that traditionally have been a by-product of the dyeing and printing process. Abbey's fabrics are made from synthetic fibers and natural fibers (like cotton, wool, silk, linen, bamboo, jute and hemp that are rapidly renewable and biodegradable). Leather hides, when specified, are purchased only from companies that are certified environmentally-friendly.
Zero-Waste is Our Goal
Abbey Custom Textiles' zero-waste policy is accomplished by printing only the components for each upholstered piece. Abbey's graphic artists lay out and nest these components such that almost no fabric goes to waste. This is a far cry from the traditional "all-over" way fabrics are printed which often necessitates excessive waste due to pattern centering and matching. Abbey's printed fabric components already have the patterns matched and/or centered, so there is virtually no waste.
Abbey Custom Textiles practices sustainable purchasing whenever possible.
Office, Manufacturing and Warehouse Policies
Abbey purchases 100% recycled paper and envelopes for office use. Paperless office practices are used whenever possible, including paperless billing and banking, electronic archiving of documents, use of double-sided documents, and email. Reuse and recycling of paper for internal use, turning off lights and equipment when not in use, use of climate curtains to conserve heating fuel, and water-saving efforts are integral parts of our green initiative. Abbey Custom Textiles uses earth-friendly cleaning supplies, including recycled paper products, and cleaners free of petrochemicals and chemical fragrances.
Abbey recycles most of its waste, including paper, cardboard, plastic, food and drink containers, pallets, wood waste and printer/toner cartridges. Any organic food waste that we generate is either composted or placed outside for local wildlife.
Our staff regularly participates in fund-raising efforts for local charities, and volunteers at churches and other agencies. Surplus materials are donated to Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts, and community centers, churches and schools.