Sustainability made simple

Sustainable Furniture: What It Is and 10 Places to Buy It

sustainable furniture
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / midascode

Sustainable furniture is becoming more popular as our awareness of planetary resources rises. Find the 10 best places for furniture that will look stunning in your home, office or garden.

The planet will not thrive if we continue to buy new products made from materials that cause our planet to be stripped of resources and negatively affect the biosphere. Illegal logging and deforestation are key topics as climate change becomes ever more present in our lives. Sourcing sustainable furniture is one way we can help the environment, and there are some wonderful companies looking at using ethically sourced materials in their products. If we want to preserve a diverse world for our future generations, producing and buying sustainable furniture must become a priority. 

Sourcing Sustainable Furniture

There are two ways you can start your search for the right sustainable furniture for your home. You can look to companies making new products from sustainable materials, or you can buy second-hand. Gone is the stigma that second-hand goods mean inferior quality. There are many places you can go to pick up a beautiful and ethical bargain. Second-hand is especially good if the products are plastic. Buying new plastic is not environmentally friendly as it is not biodegradable and takes up a vast amount of landfill.

When buying wooden furniture from new, it is useful to know which types of wood are considered sustainable and which are not so that you can make an informed choice. For example, some oak species, such as white oak, can live for more than six centuries. Such trees are vital to wildlife for food and shelter, along with playing their part in habitat management by draining water and supporting climate balance. It is imperative that we understand the importance of woodlands and forests for the future of the next generations.

There are species of trees that grow much faster than species such as Oak and are therefore easier to replace. Fast-growing species like Pine, Bamboo, and Fir are a much better choice of furniture material in terms of sustainability. The EU has measures in place to protect and replace woodlands, and actually, now in the EU, more trees are being planted than felled, which is a great stride forwards. Therefore, buying certified European wood may also be a more environmentally friendly choice.

If you are wondering where to buy sustainable furniture made from renewable resources, the following companies are a great place to start. 

1. Maiden Home

Sustainable furniture can help the planet breathe.
Sustainable furniture can help the planet breathe.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Maiden Home produces handcrafted, made-to-order furniture, made in the US. Their materials are locally and responsibly sourced, and certified as such. You can find them online. Prices reflect the fact that items are classed as ‘luxury for the modern home’ and are, of course, made-to order, so you are looking at $450 plus, for small bespoke handmade items, and much more for larger products and sets, but payment plans are available.

2. Etsy

Re-claimed furniture can suit many budgets.
Re-claimed furniture can suit many budgets.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Skitterphoto)

If you are not looking for made-to-order luxury items, then we can go to the other end of the scale and consider Etsy Reclaimed Furniture. There is a vast range of very reasonably priced second-hand furniture accessible for most budgets. You can find almost anything you are looking for. Etsy is also known for its maker’s section, so you could also browse sustainable furniture made by local craftspeople.

3. Sabai

Sabai is another made-to-order option for sustainable furniture. Sabai is based in the US and committed to using only sustainable & recycled materials, such as recycled water bottles, along with eco-friendly packaging & carbon-neutral shipping options. They also have a second-hand shop, Sabai Revive, both accessible online. Prices start from around the $345 mark.

4. Sustainable Furniture: West Elm

From shelves to sofas, you can find what you need.
From shelves to sofas, you can find what you need.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 4787421)

West Elm offer fair-trade bedroom, office, storage, and outdoor sustainable furniture, also made in the US. Prices start from $49 and go up into the thousands for items such as sofas, but again payment plans are available. You can find their online shop with lists of eco-friendly items and collections. The company has a worldwide reputation and has hundreds of options.

5. Avocado

For mattresses and bedroom furniture, the place to head to is Avocado, which specializes in certified eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, end tables, and dressers. Using only natural and reclaimed materials made in the US, their online store prices start from $198. Again, payment plans are available. The brand also gives back to environmental causes and is certified climate-neutral.

6. Medley

Sustainable furniture comes in many guises.
Sustainable furniture comes in many guises.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jessebridgewater)

Medley also offers bedroom furniture, along with sofas & chairs, accent tables, ottomans, benches, and storage furniture. Another company with production in the US, they also upcycle, use organic materials, and offer free returns. Prices start at $376, for an ottoman. Payment plans also available. Being eco-friendly is a strong part of the company’s pledge to help reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, you have the choice to customize your furniture. Visit their store to browse their products and find out more about their commitment.

7. Sustainable Furniture: Made Trade

Also selling a wide range of climate-neutral, fair-trade certified bedroom furniture, sofas & chairs, accent tables, ottomans & benches, storage, and bookshelves are Made Trade. Prices start at $96 for a chair, and payment plans are available. Made Trade is also a female-owned one-stop shop, working with ethical and sustainable brands around the globe, including Masaya & Co, KAZI, and Emeco. Traditional techniques are promoted, allowing for beautiful and unique sustainable furniture. Every product page on the website shares key values and facts about the maker. You can pay in up to 4 installments, and with your purchase, you receive carbon-neutral shipping.

8. Burrow

Made and shipped with the planet in mind.
Made and shipped with the planet in mind.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ricardorv30)

Burrow sells seating, tables, storage, office furniture, and accessories and is well known for its comfortable, companion-animal-friendly sofas. Their products are sustainably sourced, they upcycle, and use recyclable packaging. You can buy online or visit their New York showroom. Prices start at $295, and payment plans are available. They’ll also ship their furniture in 100 percent recycled boxes.

9. Inside Weather

Another for living room, dining room, bedroom, and office sustainable furniture is Inside Weather. Here we have another made-to-order, online, US-based company which is committed to a carbon negative output. Prices vary according to requirements, but custom payment plans are available. Inside Weather believes that furniture should be personal and accessible. Here you can choose from sofas crafted from upcycled plastic bottles to credenzas made with FSC-certified birchwood. In partnership with the National Forest Foundation, a tree is planted with every order made.

10. Sustainable Furniture: Joybird

Making choices that support fair-trade.
Making choices that support fair-trade.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Joybird offers living room, dining room, bedroom, office, storage, and outdoor furniture. An eco-friendly, made-to-order company, Joybird offers fair wages and has several ongoing environmental initiatives. They have an online and physical presence, with showrooms in the US. The pieces are custom-made in Mexico, and prices start from $184 for an off-the-shelf item. Payment plans are available, and Joybird also offers highly discounted second-hand options through its FloorFound initiative. They also pledge to plant more trees than are used in the production of their sustainable furniture.

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** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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