Shanghai or Bust?

Lotus It’s a well-known fact that the Pacific NW is brimming with beauty, possibility…and really smart people. I received validation of this fact when I came across Lotus Fixture, headquartered in Seattle.

Lotus Fixture turned the entire outsourcing concept on its ear by going to China for sustainable products. In fact, partners Todd Jacobsen and Kevin Chaney saw housing some of its operations in Shanghai as an opportunity to create their own way of doing business.

So, they built an almost waste-free factory and brought in raw materials from sustainable resources. Today, 100 percent of their products and packaging can be recycled.

And I don’t have to tell you that this is practically a first in the industry.

It is important to note, however, that companies moving operations over to China typically get a bad rap from consumers. Sure, the products are cheaper, but they’re also unsustainable and aren’t supporting our national economy. Right?

According to Lotus, there are more recycled materials available in China than in the United States. I’ll admit that I haven’t given a lot of thought to where the most recycled materials are located, but I wouldn’t make China my first choice. Is this a well-kept secret? Should we all be bounding to China for sustainability? I’m intrigued…

I love where Lotus Fixture’s heart is; I’m just not sure if China is really the key to sustainability. What do you think – could we see more sustainable materials coming from China? And does it truly matter where sustainability stems from as long as it’s happening?

Leave your thoughts here!

–Heather Strang, Display & Design Ideas, sister publication of Contract

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