“We’re a mission-driven business," said Jeff Kaplan, co-founder. We’re a B Corp, [which is a] community-based business using the power of commerce to solve social and environmental problems. We want to do good, so we want people to not need us anymore—which is a weird thing to say. But it means a social or environmental problem has been solved. Three years ago you couldn’t find non-toxic paint at a normal paint store, so we opened the Green Painter. Now it’s everywhere. There’s no reason to [dedicate a whole store] to doing that anymore.”
While New Living Bedroom, located at 321 W. 19th Street in the Heights, will continue to carry non-toxic paints, the bulk of floor space will be dedicated to sustainably built furniture, environmentally friendly linens, and organic mattresses. Kaplan is a healthy home evangelist, listing this change as a natural progression of the store’s mission.
“We’re going to create this dreamy space that brings New Living mission forward,” Kaplan said. “This new concept is all about healthy sleep. There’s nothing more important than a good night’s sleep. We will carry the widest selection of organic mattresses in the city. And they’re affordable. We want to find products that are priced the same as any mattress store. We believe everyone deserves a healthy home—it’s not just for rich people.”
That said, Kaplan knows that organic mattresses and focusing on indoor air pollution will take a while to catch on.
“Nobody used to think of organic food 25-30 years ago. It wasn’t something the average person thought of,” he says. ”You had to be an outlier—there was no such thing as Whole Foods. Today, you talk to someone at the local farmer’s market about their home and 95 percent of them have never heard of a organic mattress. It will take time, but it’s worth it.”
The original Green Painter (located in Rice Village) will now become their artisan workshop and furniture showroom, Made by New Living.