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White House Green Approach

Green in America: Q Collection
This guest posting series was inspired by Obama's campaign commitments to keeping jobs in America and finding alternate energy sources and focusing on sustainable living. In the coming weeks and months find creativity in the world will feature American designed, American built sustainable product.
We begin with New York-based Q Collection. A company that I met in 2007 that are doing incredible work. Here Jesse Johnson, co-founder, answers our question:
President-Elect Obama’s focus on sustainability and keeping jobs in America reflects the needs of all Americans. As an American-based manufacturer who is indeed keeping jobs in America, and as a company who is founded on the principles of sustainability and safe furniture, what would you recommend as ideal pieces from your collection for the White House – and why?
Thanks for inviting us to respond. Q Collection is a mission-based company focused on designing home furnishings that are just as safe and healthy as they are beautiful and well made. In other words, we design beautiful, top-quality furniture and textiles while eliminating materials that are of concern to human health and the environment. As we say, everything we design is PEOPLE SAFE. PLANET SAFE. Anthony and I co-founded Q Collection in 2003 and started with adult furniture and upholstery textiles. In 2007, we introduced Q Collection Junior – a collection of children’s furniture and organic cotton bedding. The line is now available in over 100 retail locations in the US and Canada.
We recommend two pieces from our collections. One for the Oval Office from Q Collection. The other for Sasha or Malia’s room from Q Collection Junior.
President-Elect Obama is coming to office as a strong advocate for ‘greening’ the American economy, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and creating skilled jobs domestically. The designs from Q Collection and Q Collection Junior uniquely address all three of these goals.

Oval Office:
The ideal piece from our collection would be our Abigail Settee.
The design is unique, bold and memorable – fitting for such a historic location. It is inspired by an 18th century / Georgian wing chair. What you can’t see, however, is even more important.
First, in terms of ‘greening’ our economy, we use only proven non toxic materials that don’t harm human health or the environment. For example, we have completely eliminated the use of formaldehyde (a typical component of wood glue and engineered wood known to cause cancer in humans). Instead we use water-based, non toxic substitutes.
Second, we rely on the use of natural materials and have completely eliminated the use of petroleum-based components. So, for example, unlike typical seat cushion foam made from polyurethane, ours is natural latex and contains so petroleum (or toxic materials).
Finally, the Abigail is hand-crafted in Obama’s home state. What better way to showcase how it is possible to keep skilled, ‘green’ jobs local than furnishing The White House with hand-crafted, USA-made furniture?

Children's Rooms:
For Sasha and Malia Obama, we recommend our Solare Dresser from Q Collection Junior. It is great looking, very functional with ample storage space and can evolve with their needs. Like the Abigail settee, it is an ideal showcase for ‘green’ design, including such unique features as the use of only water-based, non toxic materials and the complete elimination of formaldehyde. There is also no use of petroleum based materials. All materials have been reviewed for safety by a toxicologist. All wood is solid, locally-sourced and certified. This piece is hand-crafted in the USA.
Solare also supports sustainable jobs. The knob pulls are hand-carved Tagua nuts sourced from South America. The act of using these pulls, historically referred to as ‘poor man’s ivory’, instead of plastic or metal has the effect of promoting well-paying jobs in economically disadvantaged communities.

One last thing to note is all our packaging in 100% biodegradable.

Jesse Johnson, Co-founder & CEO