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A Design Journey of Caring

Cisco Pinedo, CiscoHome designs, manufactures and retails FSC certified organic and green furniture and furnishings for interiors of homes and businesses

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Top Green Product Design Issues:

  • We have tremendous power when we care about what we buy.
  • Use the certification process – it works.
  • Sustainability is a journey.

cisco home furnishings, green furniture, AIGA green design Cisco Pinedo was shocked by the deforestation on his sourcing trips to Peru and India. "90% of India’s forests are gone!" Cisco began researching where his company got its wood from and discovered most of it came from countries that didn’t protect their forests very effectively. "A lot is going on outside our country that we’re just not aware of in our daily business practices,” he observes. “We are the biggest powerhouse because we buy from those countries and we don't care what’s happening."

That’s when he found the Forest Stewardship Council ( and decided to get more strict about his sourcing. It was a journey – taking more than a year to sort out the health, design and manufacturing possibilities. "I’m so impressed by the chain of custody and distribution programs by the FSC. Over a year we were able to find suppliers who also believed in a greener way and had certified green products that would support my own green chain of custody. I realized we have an amazing power. We have dollars in our hands – I learned you can do great things and it's not necessary to drag your business down. You just need the awareness that you have buying power."

"I -- and we -- have amazing power to go to our choice of suppliers
and demand green products.
'I’m going this way – come with me or lose me!'"

Cisco Pinedo, CiscoHome

Cisco grew into understanding that health and environment are intimately connected. And since people spend so much time indoors – and in his comfortable furniture – he decided that not only would he create one special organic line of high end furnishings, but he offered his entire line with green options. Natural latex, wool and cotton replaced fossil-fuel based padding, and water based glues and certified fabrics supercede petroleum materials. Their CiscoHome showroom is the first retail store in Los Angeles to offer an FSC certified line of furnishings.

AIGA green design
Sourcing the finishes, the natural fabrics and the wood weren’t easy. He asked his suppliers for six months to supply him with certified products so he could get his own products certified. "When I looked into it, I discovered that 90% of the available materials were petroleum-based." Some suppliers just wouldn’t act on his request to sell him green alternatives. “I finally told them, I’m going this direction – come with me or lose me.” Some lost his business. Others changed with him. How much green is he shooting for? "As green as we can get!"

The steps to a certified green business:

  • Get FSC Certified
  • Introduce his product line, The Green Collection that was 100% green
  • Offer green options across all his company’s product lines
  • Next, he will not introduce new fabrics unless they are environmentally friendly or 100% certified.

Consumers are a big part of Cisco’s green strategy. He balanced his desire to make everything green with their need to take the journey at their own speed. Now he offers the OPTION of green and organic materials, along with traditional options. However, he is transitioning to all green materials. "The conversion was very, very fast – faster than we imagined! As media and experts and customers talked, within a year the convergence of the right financial and education factors made the transition happen."

Natural materials aren’t the same as green – and industry regulations by the state aren’t keeping up with the green movement. For instance, "wool is a naturally fire-retardant material," he explained, "but state laws don’t allow us to use the fire-retardant sticker on furniture make with wool instead of old synthetic fire retardant chemicals."

The CiscoHome showroom showcases green design. Not only do the large windows stream in natural light, but the reclaimed wood floors give warmth and sustainable history to the retail space. A gentle acceptance of each customer’s green journey is communicated with a warm welcome, patience and informative signs.

"It's still about caring. How much do you care?" Cisco Pinedo shows his care in the way he conducts his business, in his designs, and in the sustainable materials that make them healthful, tangible parts of each person’s journey through life.

CiscoHome La Brea Showroom
440 North La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| design | furniture | manufacturing | FSC |


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