Sustainable Furniture: The Ethical Way to Deck Out Your Home
Eco-friendly living is a hot topic right now, but how does it apply to furniture?
Eco-friendly or sustainable furniture is considered environmentally considerate in the materials used, the way it is manufactured and its final method of transportation. From the use of recycled materials to its manufacture in a warehouse that boasts renewable energy consumption, eco-friendly furniture is becoming more and more popular among buyers with an environmental conscious.
With a strong focus on furniture designed and manufactured to withstand long-term use and be considered as biodegradable when disposed of, investing in sustainable furniture is the best way to ensure quality and value without generating a negative impact on the environment.
Sustainable furniture must be created using materials with eco-friendly characteristics, such as recycled or repurposed items, or those that are easily renewable.
When purchasing furniture made from wood, look for timber that is harvested in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification or Responsible Wood Certification Scheme. Such regulations ensure the wood is sourced in compliance with the local laws and is respectful of the rights of the indigenous peoples of that area.
Possibly the most popular renewable material used to create attractive sustainable furniture pieces in recent years is bamboo; this is due to the fact that bamboo grows at an exceptionally faster rate than trees used for lumber – anywhere from 18-47 inches in a 24-hour period. Not only that, bamboo is highly durable and is said to release 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere compared to forest trees.
The resources used to manufacture sustainable furniture must have minimal impact on the environment in terms of their sourcing, and be certified by a third party authority to be classed as eco-friendly prior to sale.
To have their product certified as sustainable, the manufacturer must adhere to a production process that is completely non-toxic and does not produce pollution. Due to the lack of hazardous chemicals allowed in the development of eco-friendly furniture, environmentally conscious manufacturers instead opt for products that avoid paints and stains that emit volatile organic compounds.
Sustainable manufacturers are also known to follow fair trade practises, and actively avoid processes that are harmful to the communities or environments they obtain their materials from.
Eco-friendly manufacturers will also boast minimal water consumption and ensure their carbon footprint is kept to an absolute minimum or is entirely non-existent.
Environmentally Friendly Transportation
Due to the energy used to deliver raw materials to a warehouse or completed furniture to the retailer, eco-friendly transportation methods are an integral part of achieving sustainable certification status.
By purchasing locally produced furniture created with materials sourced from local suppliers, you are actively assisting in lowering the carbon footprint of your furniture purchase.
If you’re interested in buying furniture sourced from overseas, contact your chosen supplier to find out how their furniture is shipped. Flat-packed furniture for example has a much smaller impact upon the environment than bulky assembled furniture.
A fantastic rule of thumb when looking to purchase furniture the sustainable way is to consider its functionality.
Will the item meet all your needs? Is it an item that is versatile, should you wish to redecorate your room or home? Is it multi-functional such as a bunk bed with an incorporated desk space, or a foldout sofa bed?
Selecting furniture that is functional, conserves production resources, and is durable in its manufacture is advised when making your final furniture decision.
What to Look For
If you’re on the market for a piece of luxury furniture built using sustainable practises, make sure to research the supplier’s manufacturing process prior to purchase.
Businesses that follow ‘fair trade’ or ‘fair made’ policies are likely to supply eco-friendly furniture, as are those that ensure their manufacturing partners follow sustainable practises and provide safe working environments for their staff.
At Grand Living, we empower our customers with the supply of custom-made luxury furniture made using sustainable practises. From versatile children’s beds to durable desks, we offer eye-catching functional furniture options that are guaranteed to stand the test of time.