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World Market Center Las Vegas Helps Reduce Carbon Footprint With One Good World Series

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Sustainability is one of the most dynamic and important issues facing the home furnishings industry. As a part of Las Vegas Market, World Market Center Las Vegas announced that it will host the One Good World series featuring in-depth discussions and high-profile speakers focused on eco-friendly issues.

“The One Good World series, which is unique to World Market Center Las Vegas, explores sustainability in the furnishings industry, a topic that should be top of mind for retailers and manufacturers alike,” says Robert Maricich, president and CEO of World Market Center Las Vegas. “We are proud to offer our attendees insightful and exclusive programming at every Market.”

Susan Inglis, executive director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, says that World Market Center Las Vegas has been responsible for the momentum felt all across the eco-friendly industry.  “The fact that they started One Good World was visionary, and evidence, itself, of their commitment,” says Inglis. “We have seen great participation. People really want to hear the latest information about sustainability and World Market Center knows that. We are delighted to help deliver it.” Sustainable Furnishings Council is a partner in the One Good World series.

One of the week’s highlights is the “One Good Chair International Design Competition: minimum/Maximum” (Aug. 4, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Building B, WorldView on 16th floor), which is in its third year. The challenge invited designers (experienced and inexperienced) to create a smart design fitting of the theme “minimum/maximum.” The goal: to preserve natural resources and amplify human delight. Over 100 entries poured in from around the world.

“We are very excited about this year’s ‘One Good Chair,” says Inglis. “There were great designs from the semi-finalists, who will be announced at Market. Also, the panel we have planned will be great—a stellar group of cutting-edge thinkers in the design world served as judges in the competition, and several of them will be with us at Market for the discussion, including Antonio Larosa, chair of furniture design, Savannah College of Design; Jose Atienza, senior designer William McDonough & Partners; Andrea Mangini, lead experience designer, Adobe Systems; and Toby Israel, Ph.D., founder, Design Psychology.”
Lance Hosey, author of The Shape of Green Design, will moderate a slideshow and peer review of the highlights of the “One Good Chair” competition. The finalists will go on to have prototypes of their chairs created by Weyerhaeuser Hardwoods and Handy Living. The prototypes will then be exhibited during Winter Las Vegas Market, Jan. 24-28, 2011, and a winner will be selected to share a cash prize of up to $5,000 from World Market Center Las Vegas.

Design psychologist and “One Good Chair” judge Toby Israel, Ph.D. is looking forward to the August announcement of the competition’s finalists. “There were many submissions that concentrated on the different aspects of creating a great chair,” says Israel. “It was very exciting when I found chair finalists that seemed to have gotten it ‘just right’— especially in terms of considering the design psychology—the important human factors to be considered when designing a piece of furniture,” she says.

Antonio Larosa, who is chairman of the furniture design department at Savannah College Art & Design (SCAD) and also a judge for “One Good Chair” added that he was most impressed by the contestants who didn’t just consider the chair design, but the whole package. “I was positively impressed by most of the entries. In particular, I was very happy to see that some of the designers went behind sustainable materials, giving packaging and shipping a very important role in the entire design process,” says Larosa. “This kind of thinking is more than sustainable design, this is common-sense design!”

The week is rich with other innovative programming, kicking off with “Eco Friendly from the Foundation to the Furniture” (Aug. 2, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m., Building C-176). Designer Robin Wilson will highlight several residential products with eco-friendly design, including the Kennedy Green House (the private residence of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), the Good Housekeeping Show House and more. Wilson will also share tips and information to create an eco-healthy lifestyle.

According to the experts, mattress safety is one of the top female environmental concerns. The Special Sleep Association (SSA) will address that concern during four briefings, “SSA Helps Retailers Sell Mattresses by Addressing Consumer Safety & Environmental Concerns” (Aug. 2, 3 and 4, multiple times, Building C-1350) over the course of Market. SSA consultant Vicki Warden will also share tips on how to sell more mattress products by addressing consumer concerns.

The Sustainable Furnishings Council’s DESIGNINGreen Leadership Team campaign to raise awareness among consumers about sustainability in the home furnishings market. During “DESIGNINGreen” (Aug. 3, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Building B, World Forum, 16th floor) a panel of designers, including HGTV’s Monica Pedersen, designers Robin Wilson and Barry Dixon and Luxe magazine’s Jennifer Matthews will address issues that face the industry.

GREENleaders (Aug. 5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Building C, room 424) in partnership with American Society of Interior Designers Central California/Nevada, is the industry's first certified sustainability training and the most comprehensive training program available in eco-friendly home furnishings. Jeff Hiller, president of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, leads this session, providing designers, manufacturers, reps and retailers with the knowledge and credentials to become experts in sustainability. This is a six-hour program with more than 385 certified graduates to date, and is worth six CEU’s. 

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Once considered a fad, buzzword or marketing tag, sustainability is now a force that’s here to stay, says Margaret Casey, director of programming for World Market Center. “Sustainability is a requirement that both retailers and consumers demand. Our goal is to make sure that buyers who shop the Las Vegas Market get fast-tracked to verified products that can stand up to consumer and media scrutiny,” says Casey. “Knowledge is power–there’s a lot to learn and the One Good World tag is a powerful way to demonstrate respect for the time, energy and commitment that retailers make to the environment and the community when they shop for sustainable home furnishings at the Las Vegas Market.”

Interested participants in the One Good World program must submit an application to the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) with specific declarations about their materials usage, transportation, wood sourcing, VOC emissions, and if submitting for upholstery, foams used in cushioning. They also must be verified to be showing and offering sustainable products at market, not merely available options.
 
One Good Guide was developed in conjunction with SFC, the leading organization in sustainable furnishings. SFC will perform verifications for all applicants. Participants are listed in a special section of the WorldDirectory distributed to thousands of buyers at Las Vegas Market and receive window decals and showroom signage to call attention to their status, along with additional online marketing and public relations support.
 
“World Market Center’s approach to advancing meaningful green initiatives is an example for our industry, relying on facts rather than opinions,” says Hiller, president of Sustainable Furnishings Council. “This commitment was evident in their sponsorship of national consumer research earlier this year, and in their new One Good Guide sustainable exhibitor directory program. Unlike other markets, which rely on self-reporting, World Market Center is employing an industry-first vetting process on critical issues such as indoor air quality and wood sourcing to ensure the legitimacy of claims. This is the only defense against the green-washing that exists.”
 
Hiller refers to One Good Guide as an “at-a-glance-but-with-teeth” tool for buyers. “With so much confusion around eco labels, there is growing concern about all issues of sustainability. Producing the guide will help all who shop the market, but also as they go home and market and sell the merchandise. This is the information retailers need to differentiate their stores and products and to close the sale,” added Hiller

Las Vegas Market will be held August 2-6, 2010, accompanied by the launch the new Gift+HomeTM and VegasKidsTM. For a list of Gift + Home exhibitors, visit the online directory at www.giftandhomelv.com. Attendees can book discounted rooms online now at www.LasVegasMarket.com.

About World Market Center Las Vegas: World Market Center Las Vegas is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex. The state-of-the-art campus showcases furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textiles and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center open daily to consumers and designers. World Market Center currently hosts the biannual Las Vegas MarketTM, the preeminent total home market along with INSPIREDESIGNTM, Gift + HomeTM and Vegas KidsTM. For more information on World Market Center Las Vegas and its shows, visit www.wmclv.com. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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