Beautiful Sustainable Furniture For An Eco Fit Home

The most eco friendly furniture is the one you will able to either renovate/repair or the one you’ll find close-by second hand.

Fair to say that even though this is the preferred option for the planet, you might need to search for new furniture pieces from time to time that embraces our sustainability and transparency values.

In this article, we will give you several options that we thoroughly researched and tried: platforms that are specialized in offering eco friendly furniture from artists/independent makers and sustainable furniture companies brands that provide new or upcycled products.

You might ask yourselves the reasons behind the choice of sustainable furniture in your home. To us, the answers are multiple, yet not limited to the below:

  • These are goods less harmful to the planet (even sometimes beneficial) thanks to the use of renewable materials and the furniture manufacturers’ carbon neutral efforts, among others. Special attention will be given to packaging and recycling practices as well.
  • Similarly, we wanted to encourage you to look for products free of any questionable materials: non-toxic home decor should be the standard, including a quality guarantee.
  • Sustainable furniture also entails ethical and decent working conditions across the supply chain. We shortlisted brands that are transparent regarding materials traceability and labor standards.
  • Eco-conscious decisions and purchases cast a larger, more decisive vote that translates into new demands to the furniture industry. We, as customers, demand fair trade and eco friendly production methods at a reasonable price.

Bearing these standards (or should we call these benefits?) in mind, let’s find out more about each furniture brand and how they can fit in your home environment.

Simbly
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Simbly
  • Modern wooden tables & benches with elegant curves
  • Eco friendly packaging
  • Ingenuous assembling techniques
Sabai
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Sabai
  • Modular, elegant and customizable sofas 
  • Replace and take-back programs
  • Family-owned factory sourcing locally
Made Trade
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Made Trade
  • Supporting color and women-owned businesses 
  • Hundreds of small brands & artisans on their platform
  • Carbon neutral shipping 

Simbly - USA

simbly furniture
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Image by Simbly.com

Why this Brand

Simbly’s ambitious goal to become ‘the world’s first climate-positive furniture company’ puts the bar high for the rest of the furniture industry.

In terms of eco friendly furniture offer, the Asheville-based brand is renowned for its tables (dining, desk, coffee) and benches. We are huge fans of the modern, stripped-down style with a touch of elegant curves that would fit in about any interior.

Being space-efficient is at the core of Simbly’s mission. Thanks to its flat-pack furniture shipped in boxes 80% smaller than if the parts would arrive pre-assembled, they have managed to reduce its transportation’s carbon emissions drastically.

Thanks to its partnership with Ecocart, they are able to instantly calculate and offset carbon emissions at each check-out. These offsets support “ethically and scientifically vetted projects in renewable energy, forest restoration, and energy efficiency.”

We also recommend Simbly’s for its ingenuous assembling techniques. Thanks to innovative and discreet locking mechanisms, this eco friendly furniture assembles and dis-assembles easily (Allen key included).

Lastly, just like us at Puratium, Simbly is a proud member of One Tree Planted & 1% For The Planet; giving back to the community by supporting causes to preserve and protect the environment.

simbly.com
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Image by Simbly.com

Materials & Production

The entire wood selection comes from sustainably managed, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests. As already discussed in other similar reviews on Puratium, FSC wood is a must. The council provides a rigorous certification pledging for “environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.”

Simbly’s responsible wood policy embodies the brand’s dedication to sustainable wood sourcing and traceability. They mainly use Appleply hardwood plywood, a formaldehyde-free product that surpassed several American air quality standards, such as the CARB or LEED program.

In terms of adhesives ans finishes, the American furniture company guarantees food-safe and non-toxic materials.

Moreover, Simbly earned a spot on this list due to its eco friendly packaging practices. They ship in compostable cardboard boxes made of about 40 to 60% of recycled content and strive for 100% in the near future.

As for the brand’s production practices, all wood pieces are manufactured in its factory in North Carolina. This is beneficial for the local economy and even further reinforces the region’s famous furniture-making capital reputation.

Sabai Design - USA

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Image by Sabay.design

Why this Brand

Did you know that, annually, close to 10 million tons of furniture land up in landfills, making it one of the least recycled goods in the US (2)? Sabai, a black-owned company, had decided to be part of the solution and offer a different type of eco friendly furniture that does not require any tool for the assembly.

Modular, elegant and customizable is what defined this sofa-specialized brand. Sabai’s business model is to offer affordable furniture that ‘doesn’t cost the earth’ (in both senses of the term).

We commend the brand for both its replace and take-back programs; not only can you send back your old couch for up/recycling, but you can also easily extend the life of your sofa thanks to the ‘Repair don’t Replace’ system.

This simple yet ingenious idea will allow you to buy and replace only the damaged piece, thus significantly reducing your environmental footprint (and dollars spent). Moreover, you can easily maintain and wash some parts, as explained here.

Last important note, Sabai’s sofas are highly durable – up to 10 years of regular use – and made in the United States, in High Point, North Carolina, to be specific.

Materials & Production

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Image by Sabai.design

Sabai’s sofas are mainly made from natural fibers, FSC certified wood, Certi-PUR-US certified foam, and recycled water bottles and fiber pillows. Thus, minimizing the use of toxic off-gassing is another priority.

For example, the cushions’ foam is free of any flame retardants or formaldehyde. The use of water-based glue for the furniture upholstery is VOCs-free guaranteed (volatile organic compounds).

Moreover, they ship as ‘flat-packed’ as possible, plastic-free thanks to their 100% recycled boxes. And this, while committing to carbon-offset all shipments.

As for its production practices, Sabai’s furniture is manufactured in a family-owned factory in North Carolina; this resourceful partnership was sealed on the principles of waste reduction and overproduction avoidance. When asking Sabai for more details, they confirmed sourcing 85% of their fabric within a 40 miles radius.

Moreover, most materials used have received a trustworthy certification, thus ensuring their traceability and sustainability: the wooden frames are FSC certified, the recycled velvet was not treated with any chemicals.

Both are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 & Global Recycling Standard (GRS) certified.

Lastly, we like the brand’s approach to sending free swatches to allow you to make the most fitted choice with your interior.

Emeco - USA

madetrade furniture
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Image by Madetrade.com

Why this Brand

Famous for its chairs and stools, the made in the USA furniture brand puts handcraft and recycled materials first on its mission statement.

Emeco is dedicated to continuously reducing its environmental impact, whether thanks to waste recycling, reuse of materials, and reduction of energy consumption. For example, implementing advanced lightning technologies has enabled them to reduce their annual electrical rate by a quarter.

Known for its short- and long-term adverse health effects, VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) are often used in conventionally made furniture (3).

This controversial manufacturing practice has led many eco-conscious companies to make better choices. So has Emeco, thanks to its clear-coat anodizing method for the surface finishing of most of their aluminum-based furniture, thus free of any VOCs.

Lastly, we command’s Emeco for its chair-to-chair recycling programYou can send back your plastic and all-aluminum items; these will be reintroduced back in the chair manufacturing cycle.

Materials & Production

Made Trade Furniture
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Image by Madetrade.com

Emeco has earned to be shortlisted on Puratium for its detailed section on each material used. It started in 1944 with recycled aluminum and the famous lifelong-guaranteed Navy Chair. Back then, choosing easily recyclable materials during wartime was a necessity. Today, it is a planet urgency.

Did you know that using recycled aluminum for their chairs is 17 times less energy-intensive than chairs made of virgin aluminum in terms of energy density?

The eco friendly furniture company also opts for recycled PET, wood, cork, and eco concrete (CSA). All Emeco’s wood comes from sustainably managed forests and is sourced locally close to their factory in Pennsylvania.

One of their preferred wood types is Accoya, a modified ‘high tech’ wood. Particularly durable and outdoor resistant, “it is treated in a non-toxic acetylation process (a bit like pickling) that makes it durable, rot-resistant and dimensionally stable.”

Made Trade - USA

Made Trade Furniture
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Image by Madetrade.com

Why this Platform

Just like us at Puratium, the sustainable furniture’s web-store is a proud member of 1% For The Planet, a global initiative to support environmental solutions.

Moreover, at the time of writing this article, the eco friendly company is finalizing its Climate Neutral certification and should receive it shortly. To exemplify these efforts, all shipping and returns are guaranteed 100% carbon offset thanks to carbon credits purchasing.

Based in North Carolina, the “ethically elevated” company adheres to 7 core values: Fair Trade, Heritage, Made in the USA, People of Color Owned, Sustainable, Vegan, and Women-Owned.

About Their Sustainable Furniture

Launched in 2018, Made Trade partners with hundreds of small brands and independent businesses and vets for each product before selection.

It is THE PLATFORM to explore if you’re looking to shop responsibly made, sustainable furniture, gifts, clothing, home decor, and the like without the need to investigate on your own for hours.

As for the sustainable furniture brands, in particular, their website offers pretty much anything you’ll need for your home (from side tables to bed frames or rocking chairs), including outdoor and office-related pieces.

The preferred material is wood (mostly FSC certified wood), with other options in recycled aluminum or natural materials such as bamboo.

Price-wise, bear in mind that it starts at 200 USD for a chair up to a few thousand for a complete dining room set.

If this is within your budget, consider it a long-term investment; and one that fairly pays its workers without harming the planet.

madetrade.com
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Image by Madetrade.com

Our firm favorite goes to the colorful armchairs handcrafted in Nicaragua and built with sustainably harvested hardwood. We like this fair trade, classic mid-century modern styling, and guaranteed low-VOC natural oil finish. These beautiful chairs are labeled as heritage products, thus preserving (and sharing!) artisans’ cultural heritage, all made in a safe and ethical work environment.

Sebastian Cox - The UK

Why this Brand

If you were looking for a sustainable furniture designer to bring your ideas to life, the London-based artist is the place to check out. They will happily supply you with complimentary initial drawings at no cost.

The eco friendly brand’s environmental policy is impressive: it was quite the challenge for us to handpick a few details for you to grasp its ambition!

While creating beautiful bespoke pieces of design, the British company also addresses three crucial environmental topics: biodiversity loss, climate change, and waste.

Sebastian Cox’s vision regarding its wood furniture is straightforward: to be a force for positive change.

As per their own words, “Combining our no-wood-waste workshop and our sustainable forestry, we operate within a model of circular economy, extracting the maximum possible value from our materials and regenerating them.”

Moreover, under certain conditions, they offer a repair service even years after purchase. As a matter of fact, as this eco friendly furniture is only made from solid wood and never from veneer, it can easily be re-sanded and refinished.

Lastly, we particular like Sebastian Cox’s approach to low waste, and circular economy principle in particular.

They create sustainable furniture that stands the test of times thanks to their 10 design principles, allowing them to prevent disposal and thus reach a ‘no wood waste workshop.’

Materials & Production

Wood is at the heart of their collection and comes exclusively from within Britain: they even manage their own woodlands in Kent, England.

Did you know that about 87% of the wood used in the UK is imported? (4) If sourced from sustainably managed forests (ideally FSC certified), wood is a natural, renewable material that required little energy to process. As a matter of fact, unlike other materials, there is no need to melt, fire, forge or boil wood.

We particularly like the brand’s eco friendly furniture for its variety of wood types, textures, and naturally derived wood finishes.

To name a few, they offer Tiger oak, sycamore, Pippy oak, walnut, Elm, Quartersawn oak, etc. This wood furniture can then be colored to enhance the natural features of each piece of wood.

Rest assured, though, they use sympathetic oils for protection, and these are derived from natural oils and waxes. 

Lastly, we commend the London-based workshop for being a slow movement ambassador in the industry, low waste, and reducing its carbon footprint.

For example, they limit their packaging by reusing or recycling as much as possible, and they deliver directly from their factory (most of their customers are within the London area).

Ecobirdy - Belgium

Why this Brand

Even though recycled plastic comes with its challenges and doubts (see our debate on plastic-made leather versus plant-based), we believe it is also part of our mission to show you different eco friendly solutions.

To be more specific, we will always encourage you to choose highly renewable, natural materials that are sustainably and ethically sourced, whether for clothing, home furnishings, etc. Nevertheless, we would like to salute brands trying to be part of the solution by reusing and repurposing plastic that would otherwise end up polluting our nature.

Ecobirdy is one of these sustainable furniture brands. B Corp certified, the Belgian fair trade manufacturer has made it a specialty to create sustainable children’s furniture.

They create adorable and colorful chairs, tables, and lights perfectly crafted and safe for kids (from 18 months to 7 years, to be exact). With its ergonomic shapes, this eco friendly furniture is light, easily washable, and suitable for indoor and outdoor uses.

We particularly like their distinctive speckled look, making Ecobirdy’s recycled pieces an eye-catcher and an educational example for children.

Lastly, even though Ecobirdy is among our favorite designer brands, consider this purchase a long-term investment: expect 200 to 300 USD for this type of unique, sustainable furniture.

Materials & Production

Made in Italy from ecothylene, Ecobirdy’s sustainable furniture received an A+ for the VOC emissions ( according to ISO 16000-9, 16000-6, 16000-3).

Did you know that in Europe, only 5% of (new) plastic-made products are made from recycled plastic? (5) Ecobirdy has decided to actively contribute (and why not grow) that number by repurposing plastic toys from European waste into high-grade raw material, available in 6 colors.

They patented a technology called ecothylene that allowed them to create a distinctive, improved blend of polymers that does not need any new pigments or plastics. In addition to creating unique furniture pieces, the eco friendly company is able to easily recycle each item almost indefinitely.

In addition to their B Corp certification, Ecobirdy also received a prestigious label: they are one of the 1000 profitable solutions that positively impact climate change by the Solar Impulse Foundation.

Medley - USA

Medley Furniture
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Image by Medleyhome.com

Why this Brand

For Medley, home furnishings equal clean, eco-fabrics combined with an emphasis on quality and comfort. We particularly recommend this sustainable furniture company for its variety of fabrics and collections: they offer elegant, retro-style furniture options for your living room, dining room, bedroom, and even office.

We particularly appreciate the detailed section – free swatches – explaining the features behind each fabric. Most are kids and pets friendly; thanks to plant-based water repellent, everyday spills and stains are easily cleaned off. You can also opt for a fade-resistant option, such as the classy Haberdasher.

As for its environmental efforts, Medley commits planting 3 trees for each tree used in their products. Not only are they trying to offset their emissions, but they also want to have a positive effect on nature by creating a cycle of reforestation.

Materials & Production

All of Medley furniture pieces are made and assembled in Los Angeles, where quality craftsmanship and tailor-made service are an intrinsic part of their daily production methods.

The brand’s solid wood from FSC certified forests is domestically sourced.

Moreover, Medley has built its furniture collection with other renewable materials such as bamboo, OEKO-TEX wool, organic cotton, and hemp. Whenever they have to use synthetic materials, they only opt for more durable and healthier materials: either Greenguard Gold Certified or OEKO Certified.

In terms of furniture polish, the eco friendly furniture company promises to exclude any harsh chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, or fire retardants. The FSC certified wood, in particular, is nourished with beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil.

As for the foam, Medley offers two kinds of cushions: CertiPUR-US certified foam and certified organic natural latex. The latter is breathable, cozy, and amazingly durable. Combined with a wood frame and one of the plant-based fabrics for the pillows, you’ll end up with a couch that is 100% natural: yes, from nature and synthetic-free!

Ads - Kirnik Sofa 2
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Image by Medleyhome.com

The Ultimate Green Store - USA

Why this Platform

Known as the website for eco-consumers, the Green Store provides eco friendly collections of products for your home, bathroom, garden, wardrobe, and even for your wishlist/registry list.

They even offer a section on yoga and fitness items!

Moreover, they regularly post interesting articles on the ‘why’ behind an eco friendly choice, and on guiding through different life events such as a baby shower.

Lastly, we encourage the Green Store to share more information on their values and selection process (particularly for sustainable furniture brands) in a similar way than Made Trade does.

About Their Sustainable Furniture

There is more variety in terms of materials than the other American platform described above. However, the offer of sustainable furniture is carefully selected; it boils down to chairs, storage cubes/bookcases, a few tables, and bag chairs.

We recommend you to have a look at their super comfortable Big Bean Lounger available in 7 colors. Made in the USA (Chicago), the foams are Certi-PUR-US certified and made without any questionable components such as flame retardants, heavy metals, etc.

The Green Store was also shortlisted for its affordability: less than 50 USD for the storage cubes, for example. These modular cubes are made from 99% non-toxic, recycled content.

Tips For A More Eco Friendly Furniture

Here is a non-exhaustive list of ideas that will help you reduce the environmental footprint intrinsic to your new or existing furniture.

Did you know that, on average, buying a second-hand piece of furniture can decrease its carbon footprint up to 82%? (1)

For us, striving for a more sustainable lifestyle goes hand in hand with diverting objects from landfills. Instead, make them last, repair them, sell them and try to find the least harmful way for disposal. Consequently, save money, and contribute to protecting the environment from further (often avoidable) damage by considering some of the below ideas:

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DYI & Repair

Let’s not beat around the bush; this section is, for us, the hardest to describe! We are still in the learning process ourselves, often asking our artistic friends and crafty relatives for a hand.

We also try to search for specialized companies and artisans nearby who offer a personalized repair service if the damage is too complex.

Moreover, we particularly like the option of attending DIY workshops in our city; there is a growing interest to repurpose discarded materials into something new. Who knows, you might discover a new hidden talent of yours!

The bottom line is: search, ask around, donate to schools, google it, whatever it takes until you find a creative way to reuse or revive your piece of furniture. If this doesn’t work, and as a last resort, contact your local recycling center to find the most appropriate way to dispose of the given piece.

Second-Hand

Whether you’re selling or buying, be on the lookout for second-hand opportunities close to your location. Try to avoid overseas shipping and thus prefer local, less energy-consuming options such as the weekly flea market in your areas or the annual yard sales in your neighborhood.

Additionally, check for e-platforms such as Kaiyo and their super user-friendly website. They offer a convenient service; taking care of the pick-up and delivery and everything in between! A tree will be planted for each order you make.

Rent Furniture

Rather than buying new or upcycled furniture, consider searching for renting opportunities for your office or recurring events.

Some companies such as this one offer long-term arrangements with different subscription models and furniture options. This innovative way of circular business practices is a step in the right direction!

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Final Thoughts

Sustainable furniture companies that put artistry and fair trade working conditions above mass production and profits constantly grow in numbers. And the fact that you reached this section means you care as much as we do about the impact of our consumption habits on the planet.

We hope you found the information and the furniture style you were looking for, hence adding the right combinations with your home decor.

Whether you opted for natural (such as FSC certified wood) or recycled synthetic fabric (as the case for Ecobirdy), our article’s purpose was to raise awareness and encourage you to preach sustainably made furniture as the new norm.

If fair trade fashion, and eco friendly fashion, in particular, is a topic that you’re interested in, we shed light on how you can have a beneficial impact on this page here.

Don’t hesitate to hit the search button for more eco friendly news!

Resources:
  1. https://sabai.design/pages/sustainability
  2. https://www.ecobirdy.com/blogs/news/plastic-toys
  3. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality
  4. https://www.sebastiancox.co.uk/environmental-policy
  5. https://www.ecobirdy.com/blogs/news/recycling-process
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