What to Look for When Buying Sustainable Furniture, Plus 5 Brands to Shop

chair and piano
Courtesy Alex Konokh | Unsplash

These sustainable furniture brands feature recycled and sustainably-sourced materials.

Whether you’re redecorating or furnishing a living space for the first time, sustainable furniture is a must for the eco-conscious dweller. From sofas and lounge chairs to dining sets and beds, there are a number of eco-friendly furniture brands on the market that are making home furnishings out of reclaimed and responsibly-sourced materials.

Sustainable furniture marketplaces

Nowadays, finding sustainable, non-toxic furniture is easier than ever. Companies intent on doing better for the planet are omitting the use of cheap and toxic materials like plywood and plastic, which feature volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene that can pollute the air. 

For planet-friendly home furnishings, Etsy—an online marketplace for original, handmade items—features a space for those looking to sell upcycled and reclaimed furniture pieces. Shop for desks, tables, coffee tables, and more.

keep the home cool
Courtesy Pottery Barn

Or snag an online shopping cart at Kaiyo or Made Trade. The latter, a woman-owned company, serves as a one-stop shop for sustainable home goods and furniture brands. The marketplace makes ethical shopping easy by allowing customers to filter search results based on a number of values, including whether they’re handcrafted, vegan, made in the U.S., are Fair Trade, and woman-owned.

Even major furniture brands like IKEA have been making strides on the sustainability front. Despite the fact that they produce large quantities of furniture—greatly undermining their sustainability initiatives—the Swedish furniture giant has been working to reduce its environmental footprint. The company, which aims to be climate positive by 2030, uses renewable energy and opts for materials like wood and cotton that are sustainably sourced.

Sustainable furniture for the eco-conscious home

Put your interior decorating caps on—and furnish your home sustainably with these eco-friendly, high-end furniture brands.

1. Sabai Design

Churning out made-to-order furniture, this company’s pieces are non-toxic, vegan, and made ethically in the U.S. using recycled materials. Round out your living room with The Essential Sectional, a luxurious sofa made from FSC-certified wood and upholstered in 100 percent upcycled and recycled fabrics, and The City Table, which features recycled steel and wood sourced from fallen trees. And for an even more sustainable option, shop Sabai’s Revive collection, which features refurbished furniture at a discount.

2. Thuma

From beds and nightstands to mattresses and side tables, this company specializes in contemporary and sustainable bedroom staples for the minimalist home. “The Bed” features eco-friendly materials like cork and recycled polyester and plastic. Pair it with Greenguard Gold Certified “The Nightstand” or “The Side Table.” 

3. Masaya & Co.

From seed to seat, this company “is dedicated to design and sustainability.” Although it does feature leather in some designs, the furniture brand’s products are handmade from sustainable-sourced wood obtained from Maderas Sostenibles, its Nicaraguan sister company. The reforestation project sits on 1,100 acres of reforested land that acts as a natural carbon sink, as well as a wildlife sanctuary. For the perfect accompaniment for your couch, get the sleek Chontales Round Coffee Table. Or, for the dining room, Somoto Dining Chairs.

4. Emeco

Your go-to for all things sustainable seating, Emeco creates handmade chairs, stools, benches out of recycled materials. The OG of chairs, the brand has been handcrafting its 1006 Navy Collection from recycled aluminum since 1944. In addition to seating, the company makes daybeds and tables from sustainably-sourced materials that are locally-crafted by Amish woodworkers.

5. Avocado

In 2019, this vegan-friendly company became the first mattress company to become Climate Neutral Certified. The brand handmakes its pieces in Los Angeles and specializes in certified organic mattresses and other household staples like dressers, tables, and bed frames. While many of their mattresses contain wool, the Avocado Vegan Mattress uses cotton instead. For a modern and sleek bed frame, opt for the Malibu Platform Bed Frame, which is made from 100 percent sustainably harvested maple or walnut. 

Looking for more tips on how to furnish your home sustainably? Click here for Ethos’ guide on how to curate an eco-friendly apartment space.

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