Get Green with Style Blog

Interview with Jill Salisbury – Part 2

el: Environmental Language

Jill Salisbury interviewed by Hilary Sopata, ASID, LEED AP

I’m back with more of my interview with eco-friendly furniture pioneer, Jill Salisbury, owner of el: Environmental Language.

You’ve set the bar high for eco friendly furnishings.  What motivates you?

Ironically, my passion has never really been about furniture.  It has always been about the bigger picture of designing with higher purpose and furniture just happened to be the result. As much as I love designing furniture, I did not want to simply create more “stuff” to put on our planet.  I wanted to develop product that had a soul and was a celebration of what we as designers can accomplish when we apply the wisdom of nature to our practice and work harmoniously with the eco system.

I didn’t set out to do something groundbreaking.  But, I realized that if I could be inspired to do something different, so could others. With that, el created its mantra: “Designing to Inspire Change™.” I believe that good design, in its essence, should be sustainable. From this philosophy, el was established as a source of education, serving as a model to the interiors and furniture communities on how to successfully combine green with style and beauty. 

How does your company compare to other furniture companies who are trying to provide green products?

For two years, I worked with an environmental consultant conducting research and product development. The result was an environmental protocol that became the foundation for the entire company, from which el’s core values and all business decisions were derived.

el did not have to retrofit environmental initiatives into an existing business model which has proven to be advantageous.  Since everything was so carefully analyzed during the research & development phases, we are able to provide complete transparency to our clients of all materials and processes used in the production of our collections.  This was important to me personally, since I had previously worked as an interior designer and have sat on the other side of the table.  I understand the frustrations my current clients may be experiencing with other manufacturers who only offer vague environmental claims.  If my client has questions about el’s environmental initiatives, they will receive a comprehensive, clear explanation.

Thank you, Jill.  I’ve personally experienced the satisfaction of reviewing your detailed environmental initiatives.  Even today, few if any companies take the initiative to the zenith that you have. 

In our next post about Jill, we’ll learn about the ways in which she is eco-conscious in her personal life.

Source: Interview with Jill Salisbury, el: Environmental Language, LLC
425 Park Barrington Drive, Barrington, IL 60010
O: 847-382-9285          F: 847-382-9311          M: 312-287-6587


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  1. * Kristin Sawicki says:

    Jill – Thank you for the insight into the beginnings and inner drive of your company! As an interior designer myself, it’s reassuring to have your background represented on the manufacturer side.

    On a separate note, congratulations on the winning garment at Stitch! I’ve never seen a model work that runway like you did! It was simply fabulous!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 9 months ago

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