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Argington: Eco-Friendly Kids Design

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Making earth-wise decisions doesn't mean reaching for the nearest item with a big green leaf on it. Thoughtful purchases are a green parent's best friend. To help illustrate this point, I interviewed Andrew Thornton one member of the parent designing (Jenny Argie is the other) team at Argington.

Argington makes some of the most visually appealing kids furniture around and they try to strike a balance between design and duty to the environment.

The duo doesn't plaster their site with leafy green images--instead, they make decisions based on practices that are good for business and the earth. Take the new Bam line, this glorious furniture collection is all about timelessness. What starts out as a bassinet and can carry your child all the way through age 6 and beyond. For $799 you get a bassinet and a crib. Add $129 and you can convert this bed to a toddler bed. Instead of making three purchases, you've made just one. Aren't they clever?

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Bunk beds are another multi-purpose solution to design and curbing waste. TheUffizi Bnk Beds ($1850) can be configured three different ways--they call it "room recycling," I call it savvy design.

Andrew was happy that I "got" their philosophy. We talked about pricing a bit--let's face it the line is expensive compared to Disney's toddler beds ($59.99 from Delta)--but there's no plastic and it'll live on long past your daughter's love of princesses. When you use materials that are meant to last 20 or 30 years, of course costs are going to go up. Argington makes no apologies for using pricier sustainable woods. To strike a balance between price and design they do manufacture overseas, but Andy says, "We employ a team of inspectors to maintain high standards."

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The brand has also decided to go with pricier finishes and paints--they meet the CARB standard (a tougher test) rather than shooting for cheaper options. All these decision come with a price tag, but Andrew and Jenny are parents too. They think the higher price is justified and I have to agree. And it seems as if their efforts are paying off. They've got three kids who are passionate recyclers and are fascinated with the natural sciences. See, all that good karma does come back around.


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