Monday, October 17, 2016

Witches, Goblins, and Toxins

October is the month of scary witches and goblins! Unfortunately, it’s also turning out to be more frightening than usual. With the extreme weather brought by Hurricane Matthew, here in Charleston, South Carolina, we were on guard, unsure of what the shifting patterns would bring to the area. All turned out pretty well here, though some clean-up was needed. The factory in North Carolina was not affected, despite the $1.5 billion in damage state officials estimated the storm caused. Our thoughts and prayers go out to families that suffered losses.

Climate change, chemicals in our homes, and toxins in our furniture are all pieces of the environmental picture. Ramifications connected to the disruption of nature may seem unrelated to our daily lives until we feel the results either directly or overtly.

We're experiencing the circumstances of disrupting and polluting our ecosystems as it becomes more evident the balance of our earthly cycles is increasingly upset.

Rising temperatures impact these natural cycles. The habitats and behaviors of birds and insects are a reflection of this fact as they try to adapt to new conditions and challenges. As a result, swaths of American forests are being infested with beetles, with trees suffering defoliation and dying. Forest fires have also become prevalent.

It’s all interrelated.

Toxins in sofa materials negatively damage the health of kids, adults, and pets. This can include skin, eye, and respiratory reactions. For our youngest children, harmful contaminants taken out of infant clothes but still remaining in fire retardants can translate into lower IQs, cognitive, and learning disorders. Among firefighters, who are on the front line of contact with the chemicals released in home fires, cancer is on the rise.

As Halloween approaches, remember that the ghouls and goblins we don’t see can have consequences. EcoSelect believes that each of us, whether as individuals or as a business entity, play a role in keeping the planet safe. When you enjoy your candy and treats this October 30th, know that when you sit on our furniture, there will be no hidden surprises lurking like ghosts!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why EcoSelect is an Online Only Furniture Company

Solid hardwood-frame construction,
proudly made in the USA.
I want to answer a specific question that many of those new to EcoSelect have asked.

For some consumers, initially, purchasing a larger ticket item on the Internet may be a new experience. In the case of furniture, there may be some trepidation about not being able to sit on an actual chair or sofa.

However, particularly with the latest iteration of our website, we have found that clients are extremely pleased with the ease of navigation through our “Collection” styles, and in depth information on our back story and values.

As a family-owned business, we enjoy the personal contact we have developed with those who have connected with us via a search for toxic-free furniture, social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, Google+), in the green space, or direct shout-outs from the blogosphere (Check our kudos from Greenwake!).

Every day, I conduct conversations that morph from answering a few simple introductory inquires, to a deep dive on the story of how flame retardants got into our furniture in the first place. The dialogue inevitably becomes more personal and specific. What kind of household do you have? Are there children or pets? How big is your living space?

A walk through on these issues gives me a picture of which collections would best suit an individual’s taste and sensibilities. (Full disclosure: I’ve been in the furniture biz for 40 years!)

I understand how a sleep sofa can create additional options for an urban dweller, and why a sectional is a perfect centerpiece in a large, suburban living room. Accents and details are key, so I make sure that purchasers feel secure about their choice of foot styles, wood colors, and whether they really want nail heads.

We send out samples of fabric and leather in potential color considerations, so that you can experience how they feel and look in your d├ęcor. Every item is made to order, so if you are exceptionally tall folks, we will also factor that into the equation. Once you have been through that process, read through our testimonials to see what actual buyers have said.

Finally, big advantages of not owning a showroom and inventory warehouse allow us to keep our carbon footprint low and pass savings to the customer by eliminating high overhead costs. And, while the factory is located in Hickory, N.C., our office headquarters is based in South Carolina, thereby allowing all out-of-state orders to be purchased without sales tax. This combination allows us to deliver luxurious, high-quality furniture at very competitive prices.

We are always a phone call (843-737-5701), or e-mail away. We're available Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST). If you leave a voice message, please tell us how we can help and preferred contact, and we'll always get back to you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

EcoSelect Furniture Joins EcoMall

EcoSelect Furniture is excited about becoming part of the EcoMall community, one of Google's top green living shopping sites, and was featured in Natural Home Magazine and Time Magazine!

We are proud to be part of this community that has been online since 1994, and based in the USA. 

I encourage you to sign-up for their Green Living Magazine newsletter that features numerous topics about living healthier and how to find better, sustainable products that are kind to our environment. It's easy to search the database site for your product needs too. They also feature a mobile app

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Power of Social Media

It is always gratifying to know that your company’s product has received a top rating from an established entity like the Better Business Bureau.

We just heard from the Better Business Bureau that our grade was once again an A+!

Over the last twelve months, 68 people checked out our listing to learn more about us. We are also a member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council and a certified Green Plus business.

Yet, the shout-outs we get on our Social Media platforms are our greatest sources of satisfaction. It is genuine customer approval, a word of mouth recommendation from one person to others with similar values and concerns.

On Facebook, we have a 5-star rating. We frequently get “Likes” and messages posted by those customers who are thrilled to have found a source for both safe, fire-retardant free furniture and designs reflecting style and elegance.

Recently, I got a personal note, which the sender told me I could share:

"Hi Ken,
I am so grateful to have a high-quality, non-toxic couch! The more I researched chemical flame-retardants and the other toxic ingredients of most sofas, the more I didn't want our family exposed to that. Most non-toxic sofas are rather prohibitively expensive, but I read several online sources pointing to EcoSelect.

Our sofa arrived a few days ago, and I am so pleased with how attractive and well-made it is and comfortable! It really adds a nice air to our living room, and best of all, no toxic smells. Your gracious and responsive customer service has been greatly appreciated as well. Thank you!



As the earth’s environment faces continuing challenges, we feel that the small difference we are making in our corner of the world is having ripple effects. The more consumers understand their options, the more they will push back against products that are harmful.

Thanks to all our customers for making us part of the solution!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pre-Summer Sale! Furniture items 15% off through June 20th

Central Park Chair, London Tan Leather: $2100
(SALE PRICE: $1785.00)
Every year we offer specific pieces in a pre-summer sale. We know that once the weather heats up, everything is about outdoor living.

This season, we have five items that were manufactured for the purpose of catalogue photography and our new website. Select any of the items in this post you like to be taken to the showroom website, where we are offering 15-percent off the regular price, plus free shipping.

For details, visit and use order code "PreSummerSALE" to receive the 15-percent off. For details, call me ("Ken") at 843.737.5701, and I'll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Free shipping can also reduce your overall cost by an additional 20-percent, depending on your location. The combined savings mean better quality (and chemical-free) furniture for much less than large big box brands.

The discount is in effect through June 20th. Fabric and leather swatches can be mailed to you, upon request, to give you a clear idea of color and texture. Please continue scrolling down to see all sale items.

Garland Love Seat, Taupe hemp fabric: $1675 
(SALE PRICE: $1,423.75)

Garland Sofa, Taupe hemp fabric: $2195 
(SALE PRICE: $1,865.75)
Central Park Recliner, Loden hemp fabric: $1375
(SALE PRICE: $1168.75)

Club Ottoman, Taupe fabric, flared foot, closed position: $775
(SALE PRICE: $658.75)

We are not required to collect sales tax on these sales unless you live in SC.

Call 843.737.5701 for further details, or visit and use order code "PreSummerSALE" to receive free shipping.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

EcoSelect and Larry David: We Respect Wood

One of the top-repeated bits in the Larry David pantheon of comedy is his earnestly posed question, “Do you respect wood?” Brought on by an incident where a wet-bottomed glass left a ring on an antique table, Larry went on a quest to uncover the guilty party and determine if others in his circle respected the beauty and importance of wood -- regardless of high or low origin.

Too bad Larry never got to meet J. Sterling Morton, the founder and innovator behind National Arbor Day.

Morton moved to the territory of Nebraska in 1854. There, while editing the Nebraska City News, he promoted the planting of trees. Morton emphasized both their value in industry, as well as their importance in the larger ecosystem. He understood that trees could provide relief from the heat and protect the topsoil of the plains, which was at risk of being displaced by gusty winds.

Using his position as secretary of the Nebraska Territory, Morton introduced the concept of a tree planting commemorative day, which he named Arbor Day. He proclaimed, “Each generation takes the earth as trustees.” His state planted over one million trees on that first holiday. When Morton served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Grover Cleveland (1893-1896), he was active in setting up America’s “national forest reservations.”

The holiday is usually celebrated the last Friday in April, although some localities pick dates within the month that are more conducive to planting saplings in their specific area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated, “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating twenty hours a day. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”

Just like Morton, EcoSelect understands that trees help to clean the air, produce oxygen, serve as a home to birds and other animals, and yields innumerable paper and wood products.
Deforestation is a primary contributor to CO2 additions to global warming. It is responsible for about 24 percent of the CO2 additions. This is especially apparent in areas including Southern Asia and China.

The good news for the United States is that our forests are growing, and expected to jump another 15 to 20 percent by 2050. This is important because over the past half century, there has been a 39 percent increase in the volume of wood and paper products produced per cubic foot of wood input.
The lumber for all of our furniture is completely sourced in Western North Carolina and Tennessee -- not from national forests. The mills we use are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and follow their guidelines for forest management. The local sourcing also means that there is smaller carbon footprint, since transportation costs are low.

Maple or Poplar is the genus of wood that we use. Both are plentiful and fast-growing, which makes it a sustainable species. Additionally, they are moderately dense and straight grained, which allows for good screw- holding ability and reduces warping or twisting.

Our frame construction utilizes smaller dimension stock and short lengths to maximize the yield from any single tree, and because we use only hardwood lumber (no plywood), absolutely no formaldehyde adhesives are used.

So, yes Mr. Larry David, EcoSelect respects wood!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ken’s Tips for Spring Cleaning

It’s March, and we’re sure Spring cleaning is on your to-do list.

When you throw open your windows to bring fresh air into your home one thing you will never have to worry about is off-gassing from EcoSelect furniture contributing to indoor pollution concerns.

There are no fire-retardant chemicals in our components, and our wood is certified lumber. Also, absolutely no formaldehyde from glues that are used to form particle boards.  Our foam meets the “Certipur” standards for the absence of heavy metals and other toxins.

With climate change hastening an earlier and longer occurrence of the pollen season as well as increased carbon dioxide levels from man-made emissions those with allergies are looking for any remedies that will minimize their exposure to irritants.

We have one! Indoor pollution is as concerning as what is transpiring outside, so we have recently implemented a new option in response to customer demand. We are offering dust mite proof fabric for application to the bottoms of our sofas and chairs. The weave of this white material is “extra tight.”

General furniture upkeep is simple. As part of your daily routine, hemp coverings should be vacuumed frequently with an upholstery brush. Lift up cushions to check for accumulation of pet hair or crumbs! Spot cleaning can be accomplished with mild soap and water. Leather should be regularly dusted. Spills can be cleaned up by a sponge dampened with water.

Some advice from my wife, Ann: “Skip the heavy duty cleaners from the supermarket.” Her favorite remedy is a combo mixture of hot water, baking soda, and vinegar. Sometimes she adds a few drops of lavender oil for a calming scent.

We have lots of plants in our home to counteract any lurking toxins. English ivy and the durable snake plant are two of our favorites!

Don’t forget to recycle those old newspapers and magazines you didn’t trash all winter. We just dropped off a box of home electronics to a local store that has a twice a year program disposal program.

Happy cleaning!