Sunbrella fabric, introduced in 1961 as an awning alternative to cotton canvas, is predicated on sustainability—lasting decades on sunny porches rather than rotting, prematurely faded and tattered, in landfills. But recognizing that durability can be quite the opposite of compostability, Sunbrella manufacturer Glen Raven recently gave the fabric an even lighter footprint. The Sunbrella Renaissance Heritage line is an upholstery fabric made from 50 percent recycled scraps and fibers gleaned from the company’s factories and cutting tables. Versatile enough for indoor or outdoor use, its 12 colors have a textured, homespun look and are comparable in price to other similar products in the Sunbrella catalog. Gina Wicker, the design and creative director of Glen Raven, says the Heritage line is unique in outdoor fabrics and represents the culmination of years of work for the company. “This was a big step for us,” she says, “and it’s one that we are very proud to have taken.” If the look and the ethos appeal but you already own plenty of Sunbrella, there’s an eco-friendly way to upgrade: The company runs a recycling service, turning old fabric into felt, insulation, and—sometimes—stylish new fabric creations.
Becca Bergman Bull is a contributing editor at GARDEN DESIGN.