A term used by us since 1999 now being co opted by numerous industries including Green-building as an attempt to draw a connection to a material or products TOTAL impact. A Lifecycle assessment (LCA) today may include energy and other resources (water) needed for raw material extraction (inputs), concentration (processing), manufacture, distribution, USE, maintenance, disposal or reclamation, by-products, other outputs, and transportation that occurs at numerous stages. In other words, Lifecycle refers to an organism, object, or in our case a products total history, make-up, and comprehensive impact whether intended or not on the planet as a whole.
Various systems are coming into vogue that attempt to measure lifecycle. Debate will continue for nearly every product category for some time. Standards will evolve with many materials or products falling in between accepted standards. At Earthshade we measure where appropriate and possible applying common sense in search of the lowest impact possible. Often we will default to established methods that have been embraced long before the modern conveniences brought by the industrial revolution. Other times we will offer comprehensive information towards offering our customers the greatest opportunity to make the most informed decision.
Our HappyShade collection remains the worlds only lifecycle assured shading system. We arguably have the largest collection of rapidly renewable raw materials with the least processing. Each and every fabric pattern has been tested and verified in a common backyard composting system returning the unfinished natural material back to the earth completing the lifecycle from "Seed to Shade™" and back.
The Safeshade collection represents years of building relationships with various partners toward encouraging the industry as a whole that sustainability is in fact not only necessary but also possible. From exclusive fabric re-formulations to simple common sense solutions including the use of universal hardware to drastically reduce energy and inputs. With much work remaining, the safeshade collection remains the lowest emitting commercial shading system in the world perfectly fit for a babies nursery. Other attributes include reduction of material, avoidance of nano and or fossil fuel components, increase of bio-based material, centralized manufacturing, solar power options, and proper design and engineering insuring the longest service life until a proper infra-structure for reclamation and or low-process recycling is in place. It is after all one thing to say a material is "recyclable" and yet another to be able to actually accept and ideally up-cycle the material as opposed to the more common down-cycling.
Better-Blinds by Earthshade represent years of investment and research with a goal of utilizing existing or fading infrastructure instead of replacement technologies. This small collection takes advantage of the green aspects of existing reclamation and recycling practices while omitting the traditional chemical based aspects. We do not deny the great amounts of energy used to create aluminum. We do however appreciate its strength, durability, exceptionally low impact transportability (light weight and compact), versatility, and opportunity for ongoing recycling that results in a net gain over the intense extraction process.
Following extensive research into the various certification and testing organizations around the World, Earthshade Natural Window Fashions remains above & alone with higher standards for health, purity, and sustainability than the strictest of testing procedures and third party rating standards. Although many of our materials are certified, the most well known certifications fail to test window treatments under normal operating conditions (i.e. under true surface temperature fluctuations from the phases of the sun) falsely certifying conventional products that remain on the market without improvement of production or finishing techniques whatsoever. We invite you to call and discuss these facts further.
Chemical Sensitivities: Are you a 21st century canary?
Earthshade Natural Window Fashions is one of the few organizations making an often time consuming commitment to understand and craft an aesthetically pleasing product without contributing to the rising health concerns of indoor air quality (IAQ).
Often disregarded by the medical world with limited regulation and little oversight by "green" rating systems; Science is increasingly
proving that chemicals, concentrates and/or synthetic substances persist and accumulate over a lifetime, having a vast range of effect on health. The rise in production since World War II virtually matches the rise in ailments such as Cancer. More ambiguous is the rise in
conditions such as Chemical sensitivity, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Environmental Illness, and/or Allergies. With MCS in particular, symptoms can range from an occasional episode of coughing, sneezing, or wheezing, to headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulty, or even total incapacitation when one comes in contact with a simple trigger. Triggers can include simple fragrances, both natural and synthetic, to complex cumulative concoctions of common chemicals and additives found in nearly everything that is made or handled by humanity.
Because MCS is such a vastly misunderstood, understudied, and inherently complex fact for an increasing number of our friends and
neighbors, a real challenge arises when attempting to offer a “natural” product suitable for anyone and everyone. Earthshade Natural Window Fashions is committed to producing the truest and purest product of its kind without the practices and/or additives that so many others refer to as normal, necessary, or innocently “natural”. We rely on a vast network of small producers, transporters, and craftspeople. Obtaining 100% control can be a daunting task. We have found patterns or materials that are seemingly benign to most, to be inappropriate for others. Conversely we have found materials that some are cautious about to be completely satisfactory. 21st century canaries may rest assured that your time with us will be met with care, compassion, respect, and understanding. We are experienced and eager to assist in discovering the level of appropriateness or comfort our products may offer to each individual. Our distinct experience with Certifications including "GreenGuard" or "Oeko-tex" coupled with nearly fifteen years of testing and studying will provide a sound basis of discussion. In time we hope the rest of society will join us by acknowledging these signs of certain change.
For additional info and a comparison of the quality that goes into each and every Happyshade Click Here