Features

Kohler Editors Conference Indulges Media with New Products

By Erinn Waldo
October 24, 2013

                                   The town of Kohler, Wisc. (above)

Set in Kohler’s historic town in Kohler, Wisc., the Kohler Editors Conference introduced me not only to the classic company but to trends and ideas that are popping up in the industry. Besides a first-hand experience with the products themselves, (check out my blog post for details) I took home a fresh look at sustainability and the new face of luxury.

Kohler is known for its high-efficiency toilets, which helped win the company the EPA WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award in 2013. The 28 recently released water-saving toilets flush 1.28 gallons or less, which compared to a 3.5-gallon toilet, can save homeowners up to 16,500 gallons of water per year. Meanwhile, the 1.75 gpm water-conserving showerheads deliver a 35 percent water savings over traditional 2.75 gpm showerheads and hand showers.

While sustainability does not always scream luxury for some, Kohler’s Numi toilet takes efficiency to a glamorous level. The toilet has a motion-activated cover and seat, which also is heated, and offers a foot warmer, deodorizer, integrated air dryer and a bidet function. If that’s not enough, the illuminated panels and music will complete the picture of a royal seat.
                           
                                           Numi Toilet- Photo courtesy of Kohler

Music and lighting effects are also appearing in other fixtures. A composer created four different compositions specifically for the VibrAcoustic bathtub, which streams sound through the body. The idea is that the vibrations surround you and resound in your body. These transducers are concealed beneath the shell of the bath for a smooth, uninterrupted surface. Your personal music can be played as well.

                         
                                VibrAcoustic Tub- Photo courtesy of Kohler

Also integrating music and the bath, my favorite little piece of luxury was Kohler’s Moxie showerhead. This simple product streams Bluetooth through the shower piece, which can be removed and carries a seven-hour battery.

                                                              
                              Moxie Showerhead- Photo courtesy of Kohler

Along with all of these new products, Kohler also plans on reducing its carbon footprint by targeting zero net greenhouse gas emissions and zero net waste by 2035. Since 2008, Kohler has achieved an average annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of three percent. That’s because of more than 1,000 sustainability projects in its facilities, including installing more efficient equipment such as a new dust-collection system that uses significantly less energy, developing alternative energy sources such as solar panels and implementing recycling systems.

With what I saw of Kohler’s factory and its picturesque town, the company is well on its way to reaching its goals – both with sustainability and classic luxury.
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