We’re all well adjusted to doing our bit for the environment by taking reusable bags to the grocery store and regularly recycling. However, we’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to kitting out our homes with eco-friendly pieces. To make things easier, here’s our quick guide to shopping for sustainable furniture.
Choose Natural and Sustainable Materials
Opt for reclaimed, recycled or biodegradable pieces, where possible. Avoid solvent-based varnishes and paints, and select furniture made from easily renewable materials like bamboo, which grows quickly.
“…eucalyptus, teak, bamboo and rattan are examples of wood used by sustainable suppliers, while the most commonly used metals in sustainable furnishings are steel and aluminium. And, instead of going to landfill, recycled plastic is becoming a mainstay.” (House Beautiful)
Go for Practical, Not Just Pretty
Of course, you want to fill your home with beautiful furniture and statement pieces. However, it’s important to select products based on how useful they will be too.
Ideally, you want your purchases to stand the test of time because they are comfortable, functional, durable, and classic enough to withstand shifts in trends. This way, if you do opt for a handmade piece of wood furniture, you can hold onto it and avoid unnecessarily contributing to the growing landfill problem.
Look into the Processes, Packaging, and Shipping
Don’t forget to do your research into how products are made, delivered, and wrapped. Imported furniture has a greater carbon footprint, so shopping locally is often your best bet (and helps support Australian businesses).
Look for brands that use low-emission transportation, practice fair trade, invest in indigenous communities, and consciously minimise waste in their processes and packaging.
Generally, conscious suppliers – like us – are very proud of their sustainable products and practices, so they’ll shout it from the rooftops. All it takes is a little bit of research and you can easily find timeless furniture that not only looks the part and does the job but also contributes to a greener planet. Win-win!