Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Decorati and the Problem of Insufficient Information

I recently met with Shane Reilly, CEO of Decorati. Shane founded Decorati in 2007 to provide a new level of service in the interior design industry. Her website has grown to be a nationwide resource for furnishings, textiles, and other design items. It also includes a fantastic find a designer service, information on sample sales, and a very useful forum area where people can ask questions and discuss design ideas.

Decorati has an extensive product database where showrooms and manufacturers can post their items for sale. The many categories are searchable by several criteria, depending on the product. These can include manufacturer, style, color, etc. However, there is no "green" subcategory. When I asked Shane about this, she said that they had that subcategory in the past, and would like to include it again, but they had to drop it because many of the showrooms and manufacturers didn't provide enough information about the sustainability of their products.

How strange. Green is the new black, right? There are so many manufacturers jumping on this bandwagon these days - everyone wants to offer green products. So why is is so hard to get specific details? Why is it so difficult to break through the superficial "green" label and find out exactly what makes the products green? Why isn't there more transparency in the manufacturing chain? Why don't more manufacturers provide easily accessible information to back up their claims of sustainability?

Stay tuned for the second part of this post, with more of my thoughts on this issue.

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