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Brentano opens new green design studio
10
Jan '11
Beginning with a modest eight patterns in 1990, Brentano Design Director Iris Wang and her husband and President E-Kwan Chen set out to create their own textile company with a focus on combining beauty + performance.

For their 20th anniversary, Brentano celebrated their growth and success in the interior design textile industry in diverse ways, all of which embraced the themes of celebration and the growing awareness and importance of eco-friendly practices and products. The year 2010 saw the opening of a new green design studio, the creation of two festive textile collections, and a yearlong lecture series.

Before moving to their current location in Wheeling, IL, Brentano was comprised of three separate units. After moving to their present headquarters, Brentano had the opportunity to build up a design studio from scratch, and for their 20th anniversary they did so with a particular focus on environmental commitment.

Green elements were used in both the design and in the materials, with items such as dual level fluorescent lighting fixtures, FSC certified wood, and insulation that uses both post consumer recycled content as well as carbon-footprint-reducing regional materials.

In addition to building a green studio, 2010 saw the introduction of several new eco-friendly textiles that are part of the Brentano Green label. The elegant eco-wool Laurel and post consumer recycled polyester Off the Hook were part of the dynamic Platinum collection, while eco-friendly faux leathers Jetset and Paparazzi added style to Gala's celebratory offerings.

Other standouts include the "magic-themed" offerings of Abracadabra, Hocus Pocus, Presto, and Voila, which are high-performance, bleach cleanable upholsteries. Also, for the third consecutive year, Brentano returned from the HD Expo in Las Vegas with an IIDA/HD Product Award for the unique and innovative upholstery Hard Candy.

To celebrate 20 years in the textile industry, Design Director Iris Wang embarked upon a lecture series that began with an event on the importance of color to design in Toronto at the Interior Design Show. In March, Wang spoke to students at Columbia College in Chicago about fiber content and textile choices.

In April, she traveled to Egg & Dart in Denver to lecture on green textiles, and in October, the series culminated with an event at the Pollack showroom in New York City that celebrated not only Brentano's 20th anniversary, but also the nearly 20-year long partnership with Pollack. 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.

Looking to 2011, Brentano is excited to continue to expand their textile offerings with the more residentially-focused Essentials collection. New additions to the Brentano Green label include the first-of-its-kind natural bamboo fiber Silhouette and the outdoor green product Sanctuary.

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