Green Isn’t Just the Color of the Week … It’s in Everything We Do!
“A whole lot of businesses talked the talk for years about going ‘green,’” said Walter R. Perkins III, CEO of The Hammock Source and THS Contract. “But most companies didn’t start walking the walk until there was no cost penalty to them.”
Perkins himself has been walking it almost since the day he started walking. He grew up routinely pitching in at the family business, which has a nearly 40-year history of operating in a green mentality too.
“Our fundamental mentality is to always prevent waste. Helping to save the world, now that was just gravy!”
“I’m a conservationist at heart, because I’m selfish!” he explained. “I want to preserve the places where I go hiking and nature gazing, and where I spend time with my sons and Family”.
Walter Perkins Jr., the company’s irrepressible founder, now its chairman, is so reuse-minded that back while he was still employed full time as a buyer for the American Tobacco Company and was hand-making his first hammocks, he’d scavenge old tobacco-curing sticks to craft into his hammock spreader bars.
“Throwing out stuff that could maybe be used some other way has always felt to me like throwing away money and just the wrong thing to do” Perkins Jr. said. “That’s just how I was brought up, I guess. So when my hobby almost overnight started growing into a business, I started looking at how I could stretch my limited resources as far as they could go.”
We approached our outdoor furniture line with technology that supported our environmental direction. We use Durawood® Technology which is recycled polyolefin, regenerated from recycled milk jugs, along with leading edge sunlight resistant materials technology. Durawood® Technology produces an elegant, high performance wood structure with no chalking, cracking or fading for the life of the product. It is also exciting that Durawood® Technology furniture can be recycled again at the end of its lifecycle.
With our Duracord® Technology based products, there are usually few leftovers get produced due to THS Contract hand-weaving method. Reclaimed strands are to this day used for crafting hammock accessories.
Fabric extras are put to good use, too. “When we’d cut the rolls of fabric to make our quilted hammocks, pillows and cushions” Perkins Jr. said, “there’d always be scraps and trimmings. But didn’t I pay for whole rolls of fabric – so we ended up putting those scraps in a normal fill mix into our pillows?” This has demonstrated an improved quality of our pillows and cushions.
THS Contract now weaves many fabric items from its own cottony-soft, all-weather synthetic yarn, DuraCord® Technology – but scraps still don’t go to waste, being converted into plush batting for outdoor pillows. More than just a money-saver, this practice also makes for even more durable pillows.
CEO Perkins III laments “It is not often to see a significant win in business…. Our customers get a great product, we don’t put waste in a landfill and it’s a win for the environment.”
Wood, steel, cardboard and paper scraps, too, are salvaged; recycling companies take ownership of them in exchange for hauling them away. That’s another financial plus, since the local landfill sets its tipping fees based on total garbage weight. So less THS Contract trash being dumped means fewer THS Contract dollars being dumped.
Likewise, we manage our manufacturing plant with the balance of energy conservation and associate comfort. Investment of high efficiency ventilator air handlers were installed in manufacturing areas so that higher energy air conditioning need not be run at night. DuraCord® Technology, our flagship rope was developed for its consumer-friendly qualities, is manufactured using only a fraction of the energy, and water.
THS Contract has also integrated the use of Cumaru wood in the manufacture of its outdoor furniture and hammock stands. We specify only Cumaru feedstock which is available from managed forests. It is important to us to do our part in securing and specifying raw materials that comply with our green initiatives.
So the younger Perkins has to smile whenever he hears of some established company trumpeting its new “green initiative.” Yet as an avid outdoorsman, he’s thankful for any shifts to environmentally supportive practices, regardless of what inspires them.
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