Furniture made from sustainable sources, chemical-free cleaning solutions and power-saving electrical devices are some of the highlights at the Asia Pacific Furniture Fair 2011.
Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
One of the exhibits enjoying the most attention at the ongoing Asia Pacific Furniture Fair is not a designer chair or an avant garde lampshade, but a couch made out of cardboard. Thanks to a honeycomb structure, the chair, named FlexibleLove, can be extended such that it can accommodate anywhere from one to 16 individuals; it can also be arranged in a straight line, a C-curve or an S-curve. Similarly, it can be just as easily collapsed and packed.
Having been marketed several years earlier in other parts of the world, the fair sees the debut of FlexibleLove in South-east Asia. It is designed by Chishen Chiu, a graduate from the prestigious National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, and was introduced at the 2006 Young Designers’ Exhibition.
The chairs are made of post-consumer recycled paper and 100 percent post-industrial recycled wood waste. According to a representative present at the booth, there have been customers in the US who claim that the chair, although it does not look it, can last for five years. As prices start from S$550 for the eight-seater, it doesn’t come cheap, especially for furniture made out of cardboard. But it definitely makes for a good conversation starter for house guests.
Labeling itself as “Singapore’s first eco-friendly home and décor, furniture and furnishing exhibition,” the APFF 2011 is held from May 14 to 22 at Singapore Expo. It is organized by the Singapore Furniture Association with the aim of providing participating members a platform to market their products, as well as offering a one-stop sourcing ground for visitors and potential buyers. The first APFF was held in 1983.
Besides furniture makers and retailers, the exhibition also featured companies offering household solutions and appliances, such as power-saving devices and non-toxic cleaning solutions.
One of these companies is local environmental solution company Envizyme, whose product line under the name Enviclean offers an “environmentally friendly bio-enzymatic cleaning solution.” The products range from dishwashing liquid to surface cleaners, laundry detergent and hand sanitizers. The cleansing power of these products derives from natural organisms and enzymes, which break down grease and grime into non-toxic substances.
Says homemaker Angela Mak, 32, who bought a few bottles of surface cleaners, “I’ve used this brand of products before, and they really do get the job done as well as the chemical ones.” She admits that they are more expensive, but thinks that it is worth it as she believes in the company’s eco-conscious approach. “Furthermore, it is non-toxic; great for cleaning my ovens and stoves, which are the appliances that our food comes into contact with,” she adds. The cleaning solutions are made from fruit and vegetable waste—since its official set-up in 2008, it has renewed 100 tons of fruit and vegetable waste. The company even had a demonstration showing visitors how to create their own enzyme-based home cleaning solutions on one of the days.
Other talks lined up throughout the one-week fair included tips on sprucing up old furniture by BrassWoods Furniture and how a good night’s sleep can give one better posture by Tempur.
It is evident that the eco-movement is slowly making a headway in the area of household furnishing and solutions.
The Asia Pacific Furniture Fair 2011 is on until May 22 from noon to 10 p.m. at Singapore Expo, Hall 6. Free admission.