Over a year ago I joined thousands of others and wrote a letter to Macy’s letting them know that I was concerned about toxic chemicals that may be in products they were selling. I was especially concerned about toxic flame retardants, which are common in upholstered furniture.
Flame retardants are bad news. They’ve been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and other serious health problems, yet much of the furniture in our stores continues to be filled with these toxic chemicals. They are known to migrate out of couches and other furniture, get into the dust inside our homes and make their way into our bodies.
When I sent my letter to Macy’s my letter was one of thousands of emails that they received from customers encouraging them to address the harmful chemicals.
After much consumer pressure, Macy’s agreed to ensure the furniture they sell is free of toxic flame retardants.
Other big retailers, including Lowe’s, have also agreed to adopt policies to eliminate toxic chemicals in their furniture and flooring.
We want safer flooring and furniture from Berkshire Hathaway
Now the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Mind the Store campaign is asking one of the world’s richest people and one of America’s biggest investors in furniture and flooring retailers, Warren Buffett, to help stop the spread of these unnecessary and harmful chemicals that are getting into our homes.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns companies that are among the biggest retailers of furniture and flooring nationwide. These include the newest Nebraska Furniture Mart store in Texas that is expected to be the highest-volume furniture store in the U.S., with a projected billion dollars in sales in one year alone.
In 2012, Warren Buffet said, “taking shortcuts is not the pathway to achieving sustainable competitive advantage, nor is it an avenue toward satisfying customers. A company must invest in the key ingredients of profitability: its people, communities and the environment.” Warren Buffett has noted sustainability is integral to a company’s profitability – yet his retailers are lagging behind competitors when it comes to addressing toxic chemicals in furniture & flooring– clearly not the Buffett way.
IKEA, Macy’s, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s and Lumber Liquidators are phasing out these same chemicals from furniture and/or flooring, so when will Warren Buffett catch up and do the same?
While not all furniture and flooring contains toxic chemicals, we are asking Berkshire Hathaway’s retailers to work with their suppliers to completely phase out these unnecessary and dangerous chemicals.
We know safer and cost effective alternatives to the toxic chemicals found in furniture and flooring are widely available. Warren Buffett has a responsibility to give consumers safe products, and getting rid of toxic chemicals is good for the environment, consumers’ health, and business.
Stand with the Mind the Store campaign and tell Warren Buffet to be a sustainability leader and invest in safe furniture and flooring.
Send a message to Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffett and its retailers today! Sign this petition to ask Warren Buffett and his company Berkshire Hathaway to join other top retailers and invest in safe furniture and flooring.
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photo credit: Dreamer via photopin (license)