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Brentano celebrates 20 years of business
22
Oct '10
Brentano's 20th anniversary not only celebrates 20 years in the interior design textile business, but also a 20 year long partnership with the outstanding, NYC based design company Pollack. While the year has been celebrated with two festive collections (Platinum in the fall of 2010 and Gala in the spring), founder, co-owner, and Design Director Iris Wang has also been giving a series of lectures on the ins and outs of green textile design. This series culminated in a standing-room-only lecture and Q&A session at Pollack's New York showroom at the Decoration and Design Building on October 7th.

Wang's lecture, titled "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," focused on the importance, necessity, and difficulty of navigating the world of environmentally friendly textile design. Not afraid to answer the tough questions, Wang spoke about how natural fibers like cotton may on the surface seem more environmentally friendly than other fibers, but in actuality they often require substantial amounts of water and pesticides to grow. She also addressed the difficulty of comparing various green options, as each have their own benefits and pitfalls. However, Wang was decidedly clear on two points: one has to look at the bigger picture, and there is no going back to a world without green consciousness.

When talking about the big picture, Wang related a story about blind men feeling an elephant. Each man touched a different part, and each man imagined a completely different animal. Each man may have been correct, but none of them could understand the whole animal. Similarly, with green design, one cannot try to only interpret pieces. Instead, they most try to see the whole being and the bigger picture.

To Wang, the bigger picture is one that cannot be reversed. When addressing standards such as LEED certification, MBDC, GOTS, and NSF, as well as the upcoming ACT green textile standards, Wang acknowledged that there is difficulty. However, she also stressed that green design is an important endeavor, and one that is here to stay. Despite the flaws of trying to figure out the "greenest" fibers, textiles, and finishes, it is an endeavor that must be made, and an endeavor that Brentano has engaged with completely with their Brentano Green collection of recycled, organic cotton, eco-friendly polyurethane, bamboo, and eco-wool textiles.

Wang also thanked Pollack for their generosity of information and aid in realizing Brentano's goal of introducing beautiful, performance-minded, and green textiles to the industry. "We wouldn't have been able to get to where we are without them," she said. In gratitude to her "mentors," Wang presented them with a painting she created, much like she presented them with her painterly textiles 20 years ago.

Brentano Inc

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