When we first moved into the apartment together, Steve and I had to purchase a lot of furniture. It was our first place together, and we were moving out from our parents’ places. Can’t exactly take one of their couches with us! After doing my research, I came across a surprising number of sustainable furniture companies I was excited to support. Not only did they craft beautiful furnishings for our home, but they were built to last (and some are even repairable). So much of the furniture sold on the market nowadays falls apart ridiculously fast. And since furniture is made of various different materials, it’s not exactly easy (or even possible) to recycle. So if you’re looking for something that will last you years and not just a few months, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the most sustainable furniture companies on the market.
FYI, this is a guest post written by Sydney Montagna, a zero waste advocate and aspiring writer. Intro was written by Ariana Storniolo. This post contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
10 Best Sustainable Furniture Companies For An Eco-Conscious Home
What type of furniture is most sustainable?
The most sustainable type of furniture you can buy is second hand furniture, for one main reason: It’s less wasteful.
Pre-loved furniture is the best way to keep used items out of landfills and reduce waste. So many different materials, solutions, and resins go into making a single piece.
Few people go into furniture shopping asking where their wooden tables were sourced from or which chemicals were used in the creation of their couch cushions.
Passing used furniture along to someone who needs it will save resources. Americans discard more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings each year. About 80% of it will end up in landfills.
Kaiyo allows you to shop for furniture secondhand, or even sell your pieces. They’re number 10 on the list below, so be sure to check it out for further details.
If you’re purchasing brand new, the most sustainable furniture would be ethical wood furniture. Not only is wood biodegradable, but there’s a wide variety of sustainable options. For example, furniture pieces made from cork or bamboo would be great eco-friendly options as both materials are renewable, regenerative, and fast-growing.
Virgin hardwoods, such as oak, maple and beech, take much longer to break down. But if they’re reclaimed or at least sustainably sourced, they’re a great option.
Recycled or organic materials are also favorable for items like couches and mattresses.
What is sustainable furniture?
Sustainable furniture includes any type of furniture that was made with minimal negative impact to the environment and produces the least amount of waste.
These furniture pieces are typically second hand products or use ethically sourced materials that are free of harsh chemicals, heavy metals or toxins. As well as materials that are renewable, biodegradable or recyclable.
Try to avoid furniture with materials that can be harmful to the environment, can’t be recycled, repaired or restored, such as those that include toxic chemicals or virgin plastic.
Is eco-friendly furniture expensive?
The cost of eco-friendly furniture is often higher than conventional furniture products due to the raw materials used in crafting.
For example, harvesting organic cotton or using organic dyes. These raw materials cost more because they’re made in smaller quantities. These materials are sometimes more difficult to source and they’re necessary to produce a product that has a lower environmental impact.
The omission of toxins in eco-friendly products increases the price compared to conventional products that don’t prioritize higher standards to ensure they’re safe for human use.
Wages are another reason eco-friendly furniture may seem expensive. The cost of labor varies depending on the company, and it’s important to choose a company who pays their workers fairly. A way to insure this is by using companies that have a Fair Trade certification. This way you’ll know for sure that their workers aren’t underpaying their employees for their hard work.
How do I choose eco-friendly furniture?
The best thing you can when picking out eco-friendly furniture companies is to do your research and ask yourself certain questions.
- Does this company use sustainable, recycled materials?
- Do they use non-toxic, organic materials?
- Do they pay their workers fairly?
- What certifications have they acquired? FSC? Fair Trade? GreenGuard? 1% For the Planet?
- Do they offer some sort of trade-in program?
- Will their furniture last me a long time?
- Are their business practices also ethical and eco-friendly?
- Do they offer second hand products?
- Is there local store I can visit to find pre-used items?
These are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself before choosing eco-friendly furniture.
If possible, try to shop local and search for second hand furniture items, especially if you’re looking to save a few bucks. Facebook marketplace, local buy-nothing groups, and local thrift stores are great places to check.
But if you’re looking for something brand-new to last you for years to come, I’ve cultivated a list of some of the best sustainable furniture companies you can find.
Note: Ariana, Greenify-Me’s founder, has tried several of these brands and owns many of their pieces! You’ll see a note under each one that she has personally tried out/owns herself.
- Seating – sectionals, sofas, ottoman
- Repair & replace furniture components
- Trade-in program
- Purchase second hand products for discounted prices
- Recycled, upcycled, and natural materials
- Certified B-corp
Pictured: This is the couch we got from Sabai! Full review here.
- Mattresses & bedding
- 1% for the Planet, ACA endorsed + vegan certified
- Certified organic cotton, wool, and latex
- USDA certified Biobased
- Climate Neutral
Pictured: This is the bed/frame we got from Avocado Mattress! Full review here.
- Sofas, tables, bedroom
- Made from recycled materials
- Renewable foam packaging
- 1 box shipped= 2 trees planted
- 12+ sustainable certifications
- Certified non-toxic
- FSC certified wood sources
Pictured: This is the table we got from Inside Weather! Full review here.
- Sells almost any type of furniture piece you need
- Support small businesses
- Offset 100% of carbon emissions
- Products generally handmade
- Made from wood + recycled materials
- Secondhand products available
Pictured: These are nesting tables I found on Etsy, which now sit in the corner on the left of my couch.
5. West Elm
- Household, outdoor, and storage
- Designed + handcrafted in-house
- Fair Trade USA
- Made from organic, sustainable sourced materials
- FSC- certified
- GREENGUARD certified
Image credit: @westelm
6. Made Trade
- Bedding, tables, chairs, etc.
- Fair Trade USA
- Climate Neutral Certified
- Design Trade Program for designers + architects
- Handcrafted items
- Vegan, recycled, and upcycled materials
- BIPOC+ women owned
Image credit: @made.trade
7. Maiden Home
- Bedroom, living, dining
- Renewable, sustainably sourced materials
- Trade Program for designers + architects
- Free of formaldehyde, heavy metals, phthalates, etc.
- GREENGUARD Gold Certified
- Uses water based glues & stains
Image credit: @maidenhome
- Seating, living, rugs & bedroom
- Made to last with durable materials
- Fabrics made from synthetic, upcycled, and non-toxic fiber
- No harsh chemical coatings or treatments
- Designed for easy, tool-free assembly
Image credit: @burrow
- Living, bedroom, dining + storage
- GOLS- certified, GREENGUARD Gold, FSC, certiPUR-US, etc.
- Plant-based latex + wool
- Plants 3 trees for every tree used for furniture pieces
Image credit: @hellomedley
- Bedroom, seating, living + decor
- Sells + buys secondhand furniture
- Over 5 million pounds of furniture kept out of landfill
- Plants one tree for every order
- Will inspect, clean and deliver furniture for you
Image credit: @Kaiyo
So, which of these sustainable furniture companies would you love to try? Let me know in the comments!
Want more sustainable home content? Check out my review of Caraway’s non-toxic cookware!
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Guest post: Sydney Montagna is an advocate for animals and plastic-free living. She is studying English and is an aspiring writer. In her spare time, you can find her watching classic TV shows and researching all things Michael Jackson related.