Our budget for the Brooklyn green show house got decimated with this banking crisis. So we don’t really have a budget any more. It is basically as cheap as we can make it.
For our kitchens for example we were going to buy salvaged kitchens, make them in house out of salvaged wood or find a company we wanted to represent and could afford. There is a lot of good wood and second hand kitchens here. The closets were going to be studs and sheet rock with basic doors and drawers. The visual parts were going to be salvaged wood.
Our financing problem is not unique so we are using it to take advantage of the new attitude by showing affordable quality green products. That is what I think will sell now and for a good while into the future.
The outlook has changed drastically here in the epicenter of the financial crisis, AKA New York. It is considered very intelligent to buy affordable green products. “High End” is considered stupid and associated with Wall Street spending. The underlying change is that expensive is no longer necessarily tied with quality. Quality is tied to quality regardless of price.
And with the new green perspective more often it is greener to buy something affordable over something expensive. The reasoning is that a green product has no impact if the middle class doesn’t buy into it. So the fact that everyone is broke and thinking green is a great thing. We are being forced to pull green from the grips of “high end” niche production and find creative ways to make them affordable.
So with the green show house I’m pushing hard to dispel the myth that green is more expensive than other products and I’m targeting the middle sector that owns the majority of the brownstones. In fact I’d like to show that it is actually cheaper to buy green since the resources are used more intelligently and there is less waste.
This comes mostly from a practical point of view since in this economy I think nobody will buy it unless it is priced competitively anyway. And I can probably say that increasingly people won’t buy it unless it is green as well. There is a double bottom line developing in consumerism: green and affordable. it may not be mainstream but it is at least gaining in numbers.
But because quality green still isn’t entirely mainstream there remains considerable competitive advantage to selling green products and any cut in price is made up by less competition and better market placement now and in the future.
There is a changing of the guard and the competitively priced green companies will emerge as the leaders. The companies making non-green products and/or expensive ones will fall to the side and become niche markets.