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Eco Exotic To Reveal Wide Range of Designs At Summer Las Vegas Show

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Eco Exotic, a new private sector initiative of Indonesian furniture and home accessories companies committed to sustainable business, will be revealing a wide range of designs at the Living Green Pavilion from July 28th to August 1st at the Las Vegas Furniture Show. For the threatened forests of Indonesia, initiatives such as this one are coming not a moment too soon. “We have been trading with international buyers for more than a decade, and the market is increasingly moving towards green products. Hence our commitment for more environment-friendly manufacturing and raw material sourcing practices,” says Mr. Johnny Sahlan of PT Tashinda, one of the Eco Exotic members. Eco Exotic is bringing a diverse and original product line to Las Vegas, including chairs and tables made from salvaged wood, chandeliers fashioned out of dry branches, and an assortment of baskets, bags, mirror frames and other products that consist of naturally renewable materials and almost no chemicals. These products will be available for supply to buyers with mixed containers. “Flexibility in design is a hallmark of our manufacturing process at Eco Exotic. With such an abundance of local, quickly-renewable plants such as rattan, bamboo and water hyacinths, we just let our imagination drive our designs,” says Mr. Zainal Muttaqin of CV Mendong Jaya. Other Eco Exotic members have found inspiration in discarded waste such as wood chips, glass, and batik cloth, meshed into their creations to bring a unique touch to these products but also to send a strong message about recycling. As for timber, it is either certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or verified as being legal— through Verification of Legal Origin (VLO)—providing buyers with the assurance that the timber derives from a valid and locally approved source. “One of our highest priorities is to ensure that design innovation and sustainability don’t come at the expense of quality,” says Mr. Jajag Suryoputro of PT Jawa Furni Lestari. A combination of out-of-the-box thinking and a proud heritage of craftsmanship provide solutions for items such as a simple teak folding table, with both ends encased in leather. In addition to giving this item a distinctive look and feel, the leather encasing prevents the teak from expanding and contracting under different climatic conditions, making it safe for international shipments. Such practices allow Eco Exotic members to ship their products to buyers such as Pier 1, Conforama, Rustique and others across the globe. “The growth in demand for sustainably manufactured home furnishings shows that business profitability can go hand in hand with a healthy environment,” said Ms. Susan Inglis, the Executive Director of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC). Eco Exotic is also bringing comprehensive health coverage and safer working environments to workers, as well as financial security to rural communities. Simultaneously, efforts are being made to share the values of eco-friendly practices with the rest of the industry. For Mr. Budi Virgono of PT Lunar Mulia Kreasi, the stakes are high for Eco Exotic’s first foray as a group into the market. “We have high expectations for the Las Vegas Show. For us, Eco Exotic defines the direction that the furniture and home accessories manufacture should be taking—towards improved sustainability and better quality and design,” he says. In this effort, the group has been receiving help from the USAID-funded SENADA project, which aims to improve the competitiveness of the Indonesian home furnishing sector. SENADA is helping Eco Exotic establish solid foundations, but in the long term members will be working without external assistance on their path towards increased sustainability—a goal that is articulated in each firm’s strategic development plans for the years ahead. Established in 2008, Eco Exotic is a private sector initiative that consists of nine of Indonesia’s leading companies that produce furniture and home accessories. All members have made commitments towards improved sustainability and a greater level of responsibility for employees and communities.

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