LEE Industries: Sustainable Upholstery from NaturalLEE

LEE Industries: Sustainable Upholstery from NaturalLEE

Sarah Coffey
Aug 20, 2010

We've been hearing about Lee Industries' sustainably produced sofas for a while now, but we didn't really understand how cool they are until we saw one in person at Chicago's Smart Home (a green model home designed by Michaelle Kaufmann). These sofas are unique and well-made, as well as environmentally friendly.

The company's sustainable strategies, which they've branded under the name naturalLEE, include using FSC-certified wood for frames, water-based soy finishes, recycled filling for cushions, and organic upholstery fabrics.

In addition, these sofas are well made. They use 8-way, hand-tied steel coil springs, which are traditionally viewed as the best (and most time-intensive, i.e. expensive) method to produce cushions, since hand-tied coils respond well to body weight and distribute it evenly over time, keeping cushions from sagging. Sofa frames are made from kiln-dried hardwoods with double-doweled joints.

All the handwork involved in producing upholstery of this quality inevitably adds up to a higher end price tag. (Prices aren't listed online; you have to email for specific price quotes.) On the upshot, this furniture is made to last, it won't end up clogging a landfill, and it's beautiful.

  1. 1006-02 Loveseat
  2. Wedge Sofa 1296-33
  3. 1006-01 Chair
  4. 3088-01 Chair
  5. 1014-00 Cocktail Ottoman
  6. 3825-21 Chaise
  7. 7793-09 Armless Loveseat
  8. 35-50 Queen Bed
  9. 8500-03 Sofa
  10. 3110-Series Sectional

Photos: LEE Industries
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