Glen Raven Custom Fabrics recently announced that two of its new Sunbrella® Contract fabrics—a filling-face twill and plain-weave canvas—have attained Silver level compliance with the NSF/ANSI 336-2011 Sustainable Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabrics. The company is the first to declare compliance under the standard, which was adopted by the Association of Contract Textiles (ACT) in 2011 to provide the industry with a universal measurement and language for sustainability.
“Glen Raven was active in the development of the NSF/ANSI 336 standard and has been committed to designing fabrics that would be compliant well before the standard was finalized,” says John Gant, manager of sustainable development for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, and a member of the NSF Joint Committee dedicated to formalizing the standard. “We worked with more than 12 suppliers to evaluate their formulations, which helped us discover opportunities for chemistry improvements in our fabric. It is a lasting legacy of our dedication to sustainability.”
As past president of ACT, Carol Derby was instrumental in the establishment of the standard and believes it puts companies on even footing regarding their environmental reporting in the contract fabric industry.
“The standard was intended to fully describe the life-cycle approach to a product from start to finish—from the understanding of raw materials all the way through the life of the fabric to what happens at its end-of-use stage,” Derby says. “That is what makes this multi-attribute standard so robust. The NSF/ANSI 336 standard provides a common vocabulary that will help us deepen the meaning of sustainability in our industry.”
The NSF/ANSI 336 Standard is a voluntary self-assessment tool that encompasses a range of environmental issues, including fiber sourcing, safety of materials, water conservation and water quality, energy, recycling practices, air quality in manufacturing and social accountability. ACT recognized the need for the standard in 2003 and initiated a collaboration with GreenBlue for the framework and with NSF International as the standards writing organization. NSF assembled more than 75 member organizations and stakeholders to ensure the creation of the multi-attribute standard which the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) published in March of 2011.
Robert Allen Contract and Designtex will be the first companies to carry the Silver-level compliant fabrics as part of their contract fabric offerings. For more information regarding Sunbrella Contract fabrics, visit the company’s website.