Cheap resin wicker is usually made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) which not only tends to fade and crack after just a few years but is one of the most toxic plastics on earth. We are striving to eliminate this harmful material from our entire process.
San Diego, CA (Vocus) June 22, 2010
Many will agree that buying green products is the right thing to do, but sometimes buying green is just too expensive! Nowhere is this more apparent than the outdoor furniture industry where cheap outdoor wicker dining sets can cost as little as a few hundred dollars at the big box shops but quality patio furniture made from sustainable materials can cost thousands of dollars per piece! The good news for patio shoppers is that many new outdoor furniture technologies are allowing brands to create furniture that is price conscious AND green.
Though these brands still are not “cheap,” they are affordable for shoppers who expect to get many years out of their patio sets.
Patio Productions, based in San Diego, is one company that is working toward proliferating patio furniture technologies that make buying outdoor furniture a more efficient and eco-friendly experience. Their methods, materials, and practices are all geared toward "green living" and resource-saving manufacturing technologies.
One of the new technologies that helps bring down the cost of green outdoor furniture is recyclable synthetic outdoor wicker called “all weather wicker” or “resin wicker”. Synthetic outdoor wicker is essentially plastic that has been extruded into strands that look and feels similar to real wicker but is far more durable that real wicker which previously was made of Abaca leaves (a type of palm leaf) or grasses. However, shoppers should be warned that not every outdoor sectional sofa, or all-weather wicker dining set, is considered green.
Ben Harvey, CEO of Patio Productions, says "Cheap resin wicker is usually made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) which not only tends to fade and crack after just a few years but is one of the most toxic plastics on earth. We are striving to eliminate this harmful material from our entire process."
According to Green Peace “the production of PVC creates and releases one of the most toxic chemicals - dioxin” which is harmful to the environment. Furthermore PVC can leak dangerous additives during use that have been linked to cancer in lab animals. However, resin wicker made from PE (Polyethylene) is non toxic, recyclable and lasts for decades making it a sustainable choice.
For the stylish consumer, Ben Harvey makes a recommendation: "One of the most popular green outdoor items this summer season is all-weather outdoor wicker sofa sectionals. Outdoor sectionals are modular sofa pieces that can be arranged and rearranged in dozens of configurations making them more versatile than traditional sofas." However, taking Patio Productions' recent sales into account, it seems resin wicker sofas and love-seats are still very popular among customers looking for a more traditional outdoor seating configuration.
Both All weather wicker outdoor sectionals and resin wicker sofas made from recyclable PE resin wicker start at around $1000 at Patio Productions, but can also be found for a similar price at many other online patio furniture dealers. However, as Harvey states: "before cringing at the price tag, customers should ask themselves if they would rather buy one set that lasts a decade or more and is made from sustainable materials or a cheap resin wicker sofa that lasts only a year or two and is made from toxic materials."
To this journalist, the answer seems clear.
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