"We kind of start where Whole Foods stops," says New Living's Jeff Kaplan on a tour of the eco-friendly home store's new nursery department. To his left is a rocking chair made of repurposed wood. To his right, a beautifully-crafted crib that's as sleek and modern as it is healthy.
"You wouldn't believe what's in a new mattress, even one for children," he explains before rattling off some of the 50-odd chemical compounds found in a piece of furniture most of us use for roughly eight hours a night.
"We kind of start where Whole Foods stops," says New Living's Jeff Kaplan. " We're here for the exact same reasons parents want to feed their kids organic food."
"We're here for the exact same reasons parents want to feed their kids organic food. We want people to be aware of the chemicals in their home and the options they have to use natural products."
Kaplan pulls back the zipper on a sample mattress from the crib. Inside was a thick nest of woven coconut fibers topped with a thin layer of natural latex extracted from a rubber plant. Each mattress is free of petrochemicals.
For New Living — which launched four years ago in the Rice Village space that once housed the beloved Wagner Hardware — branching into kids' home furnishings was a natural progression, a continuation of its mission to promote healthy and ecologically-responsible design.
"The idea was to create a place where people can come for everything from furniture made of safe, recycled materials to 100-percent natural bedding to flooring," Kaplan says. "Now we've just stretched that into a children's section."
In addition to providing a full range of interior design items for the nursery, Kaplan and his team also devised a fresh palette of kid-approved colors from The Green Painter — New Living's store-within-a-store that mixes its own low-VOC paint in-house to assure that no harmful chemicals make their way into homes along with a new paint job.