Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on August 17, 2008
Like any happy homeowner, I’m always on the lookout for fresh ways to green the house. Turning the place into a showroom for enviro-style is good because it (hopefully) inspires others to do the same, and it’s a constant excuse to buy new things. But I’m on the picky side, so not every new design product feels like a giant leap for greenkind. I was, however, excited to discover that two of the industry’s leading manufacturers of window treatments are adding eco-responsible goods to their classic, well trusted line of shades and screens.
Window treatments help us control the amount of solar heat, block visible and UV light, lessen glare and provide adjustable comfort. They also contribute to a design aesthetic which can either tie a room together or provide a funky focal point. And now that MechoShade and Hunter Douglas have come up with products that are fashionable in both design and sustainability, I can be environmentally friendly without compromising my aesthetic statement.
Six years in the making, MechoShade’s EcoVeil™ is a PVC-free solar shade cloth that, according to the company, meets the Cradle To Cradle initiative with its ability to be fully recyclable while maintaining or improving its quality and functionality. MechoShade’s president, Jan Berman, said on their website that the goal was to create a fantastic looking shade cloth that was “safe for people, safe for the environment,” and would “never end up in a landfill.”
One of the ways in which they achieve this is by simply producing the shade’s outer coating with a same material that goes into its core, allowing it to be cleanly reprocessed instead of the traditionally inseparable “muddy hybrid” of PVC, fiberglass and polyester. If people returned their discarded EcoVeils to a processing center, it could potentially save over a million pounds of scrap per year from incinerators and landfills. If that weren’t enough, EcoVeil also earns LEED credits in energy performance, environmental quality and day lighting.
EcoVeil shades are currently available in the same patterns and colors as those in MechoShade’s successful ThermoVeil series, with the company’s eventual plan being to replace all of their PVC-based fabrics with EcoVeil.
Meanwhile, MechoShade’s competitor, Hunter Douglas, has also created a PVC-alternative with their new GreenScreen solar shading fabrics. This environmentally responsible product delivers “superior solar control with the most color and openness choices in the industry,” according to their downloadable brochure.
Regardless of whether Hunter Douglas or MechoShade has the window treatment you’re looking for, it’s good to know that high-design companies are starting to make products that are fully recyclable without sacrificing style. Hopefully others will follow suit.