Upstate company looks to make your couch more eco-friendly

There’s a good chance that what you’re sitting on may not be the best for your health or the environment. A lot of furniture, rugs and flooring are made with chemicals that can make you ill over time.

But an Upstate company has created a new fabric that is a natural solution to an age old product.

From carpets to cleaners to clothes and even Crayolas, Milliken has its mark on things you use daily – even if you don’t know it.

LeAnn Flack pointed out the first Milliken patent, the laundry basket.

“We have over 5,000 patents,” she said.

7News got a demo of one of the latest inventions from Milliken research manager Emily Michaels, PHD.

“And so having your cup of coffee if it spills on normal fabric, would just soak right in, but with our breathe fabric, it just rolls right off and just easily can be wiped away,” she said.

What’s innovative is that the repellent is entirely plant-based, derived from the Palm tree.

A video from the Breathe website explains: “That is the commitment that created Breathe, the fabric that is as good for your home as it is for the earth.”

Nowadays, parents like Keri Wagner in Spartanburg are used to screening food.

“I always try to buy as much organic as I can.”

But furniture wasn’t on her radar.

“It’s just something that I would never even think about at all. I would be focused on does the pattern go with my decor,” she said.

Some companies, like Target, post “chemical strategy” policies.

Labels on furniture may also help, but are not always clear. Certifications can be your best tool.

GREENGAURD checks for “chemicals of concern” on this lengthy list.

Since Breathe is flourine-free, it meets the gold certification.

Even the fabrics themselves are eco-friendly, either 100% cotton or the man-made kind made from recycled bottles. A couch made with Breathe Polyester would save 180 plastic bottles from going to the landfill.

Pottery Barn is the first home retailer to offer the fabric.  The photo of one of the couch’s with Breathe is on this page.

Wagner says she is now inspired to check her furniture, knowing where her family chooses to relax is as safe as possible, will help her “breathe” a little easier.

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