“Eco-chic” is a buzzword being applied to almost every industry, ranging from fashion to food. While the “eco-chic” label is relatively new, the design trend has been around for many years, even before it was cool to be green. Long before dolphin-safe tuna and hemp clothing, before canvas shopping bags and bio-diesel engines, people recognized the need to conserve. One company on the leading edge of furniture design and conservation is Palecek, which has used eco-friendly design elements throughout its 30 years in business. Nathan Nichols & Company, located in Baileys Harbor and Fish Creek, is proud to be partnered with Palecek and has become the first flagship store in the United States for the company’s line of furniture and décor items.

Renowned for natural, hand-woven home furnishings, Palecek has always relied on quickly renewable resources like rattan, abaca, and bamboo in its designs.

“Organic, sustainable, natural materials are very strong style elements right now, but Palecek has always recognized the importance of conservation,” says Allan Palecek. “And now, buyers as well as end consumers are looking for products from companies committed to preserving the earth’s resources.”

Nobody knows this better than Nathan Nichols. “We have taken steps on a local level by making sure that our showrooms are conserving energy,” says Nathan. “For example, we use all energy efficient light bulbs in our lamps and recycle whatever we can in the shipping and receiving process.”

In order to offset its consumption, Palecek utilizes quickly renewable natural fibers, as well as plantation-grown woods that do not deplete forests. And while conservation is vital, giving back to the source is just as important. That’s why Palecek is a major contributor to the reforestation project in the Philippines, which is in the process of planting more than a million trees. In addition to environmental conservation, Palecek strives to preserve the cultural heritage of craftspeople that help make their products by investing in schools and local arts programs in the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries.

Nathan Nichols & Company acknowledges that home furnishings is a resource-intensive industry, but also understands there is no room to compromise on quality. This is inherent in both the Baileys Harbor and Fish Creek Stores, where there is a careful balance of beautiful and durable products that are thoughtfully designed and eco-conscious.

Being eco-friendly may have become “eco-chic,” but the choice to be responsible is as simple as ever.

“I think most people today have some level of concern for the environment,” says Palecek. “If you give them the knowledge and the choice, they’ll make a more informed and eco-conscious decision.”

The Palecek line of furniture and décor is available at Nathan Nichols & Company of Baileys Harbor, 8068 Highway 57, 920.839.9779; or in Fish Creek at 4192 Main Street 920.868.1081.