Product Review

At David Edward, Material Transparency Is a Given

Tracking materials is standard practice at David Edward, giving the company an edge in a market where transparency is a priority.

David Edward has been practicing product transparency before those industry buzzwords existed. The family-run company’s U.S.-made furniture is often used in offices where sustainability and the health of occupants are priorities, but the company also supplies products for 15 other manufacturers under license, including Allsteel and Knoll.

Al Gore invented product transparency, too?

In 2003, as a furniture supplier to the LEED Platinum New York headquarters of Generation Investment Management at One Bryant Park, David Edward was directed (and financed as part of a $100,000 initiative) by Al Gore, the green investment firm’s founder, to evaluate the chemical content of all of its materials and to then select the most environmentally responsible components—with the agreement that the information would be made available to others. It was an effort that Gregory Pitts, David Edward’s sales manager and design director, described as “breaking the snow for others,” a way to provide information about materials that would be open to consumers and manufacturers. As a result, the company created, and still builds and maintains, extensive databases of material ingredients for all its furniture; anyone can access this data on the company’s website.

Published November 2, 2015