How environmentally friendly is your own home? Sustainable furniture and other important choices - We show you what eco-design is all about
Copyright by Kovac Family: designer lamp 25lamp Birch by Kovac Family made in Sweden from sustainable wood
Sustainability is the trend topic of the hour. And also in the interior industry. With Eco Design, more and more brands are showing how modern, chic and functionally sustainable furniture is. In the meantime, there are no longer any compromises in terms of quality, style and design. Sustainable furniture combines these points much more and shows how stylish environmental protection can look. We show you here which criteria sustainable furniture has to meet.
Why sustainable furniture at all?
More and more interior brands from the high-end segment specialize in sustainable furniture. The reason for this is the increasing customer need for aesthetic, modern designs that meet the requirements of environmental protection. Sustainable furniture is manufactured under the new values of the modern understanding of luxury: quality instead of quantity, circular economy instead of throwaway mentality and ethical working conditions instead of profit maximization. The brands ensure that they act sustainably and socially along the entire value chain and deal consciously with the environment, people and nature. And under the premise of radical brand transparency.
Sustainable furniture for your own 4 walls: what matters
The use of natural materials
Whether wood, stone or cork - sustainable furniture should be made Natural materials and textiles consist. These are more environmentally friendly in their production and as soon as the sustainable furniture is in your own four walls, the production from organic materials is an advantage. In addition to more sustainable added value, these are also more health-friendly. It is always important to protect endangered resources, while recycled materials that are not 4% natural can also represent a productive basis for sustainable furniture.
Must-have for sustainable furniture: environmentally friendly and ethical value creation and production
So that one can actually speak of holistically sustainable furniture, the material of the environmentally friendly pieces must not only be preferably organic, but also organically grown and processed. This means doing without endangered resources and using raw materials responsibly - from added value to production. Measures for this include, for example, actions to save water, energy or CO2 emissions. A special focus is often on the transport routes, as local value creation and supply chains significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of a brand for sustainable furniture and promote climate neutrality.
In addition to protecting the environment, the manufacture of sustainable furniture should also guarantee the protection of people. That means fair working conditions, pollution-free and therefore health-friendly jobs as well as adequate wages. Know-how, traditional craftsmanship and manual work are the focus of many producers of sustainable furniture.
Sustainable furniture should be recyclable
When purchasing, it is important to make sure that a piece of furniture is made of recyclable materials or is intended for disassembly. Many manufacturers claim that their product contains 95 to 100 percent recyclable material. But it is not uncommon for the pieces of furniture to consist of different materials that are irreversibly glued or bonded together. If this is the case, then it is no longer possible to speak of sustainable furniture.
Even if the various materials are recyclable, actual recycling may not be possible. For example, a table can have a non-recyclable surface, or a chair can have non-recyclable foam that sticks to the seat base. Sustainable furniture should therefore be completely removable. The products from Kovac Family, A Swedish furniture manufacturer, for example, has the least possible impact on the environment, is made ethically and from sustainable and recycled materials. All products are stylish, sustainable furniture that is in harmony with nature and ethics.
Image source & Copyright by Kovac Family (sustainable designer chair made from recycled wood)
Durability means sustainability
One aspect that is often overlooked when looking for sustainable furniture is longevity. This is especially true quality not quantity. If something is built to last or can be easily repaired, the likelihood of it being thrown away is reduced. Before buying, it makes sense to make sure that the manufacturer guarantees a long service life and offers spare parts or refurbishment programs.
In addition, also insure Online platforms for antiques as well as other 2nd life models or sharing concepts like Furniture rental the sustainability of furniture. This is because life cycles are extended and timeless, high-quality, sustainable furniture is passed on from conscious consumers to like-minded people.
Sustainable furniture is free of harmful substances
This is primarily about volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOC are chemicals that evaporate at room temperature. Various materials (e.g. wooden panels) or surface treatments (e.g. liquid paints) that are regularly used in the furniture industry contain VOCs, which release dangerous gases in the indoor climate. The smell of “new furniture” when the packaging is removed is often due to the fact that VOCs evaporate in the air.
If they accumulate in poorly ventilated areas, they can even be harmful. However, there is an easy way to avoid VOCs - the search for GREENGUARD certified Products. This is an assurance that products comply with a strict emission limit for chemicals and substantiate the sustainability claims with empirical scientific data from a third party organization. at Wall colors becomes the VOC content also listed on the package.
Image source & copyright by Little Greene (Sustainable colors)
Not only the furniture, but also its packaging must be sustainable
Packaging is an important aspect of sustainable furniture. Many goods are delivered in disproportionately large or large packaging. Some can be recycled, but many common variants such as styrofoam or certain plastics cannot. Furniture in suitable packaging, which mainly consists of materials such as cardboard or other recyclable plastic, is better. This point can often be a challenge, as customers demand undamaged goods, which can often be bulky. Nevertheless: More and more brands are making it possible, showing that sustainable furniture can actually be sustainable along the entire value chain.
Sustainable furniture and accessories should be plastic-free
Objects made of plastic or plastic can easily be replaced with products that produce significantly less waste and save our resources. This also applies to our interior in terms of eco design. Glass, metal, wood, fabric or porcelain are ideal materials for home accessories to decorate sustainable furniture.
For wood products is one FSC certification helpful. FSC certified wood and paper ensures that it comes from responsible forestry. In our Timber guide learn more about the differences between solid wood, solid wood and real wood.
Eco Design with the Environmental Product Declaration (EDP)
A quick and easy way to determine the environmental impact of a piece of furniture is to test the EPD (Environmental Product Declaration). This is an independently verified and registered document that provides transparent and comparable information about the effects of products on the environment. And that over the entire life cycle. While the EPD does not guarantee the environmental friendliness of a piece, it does provide a clear indication of the overall effect of the product.
Seal of approval for sustainable furniture
In addition to our tips for an environmentally conscious interior, there are defined quality standards. For example, the Blue Angel in Germany ensures the environmental friendliness of products and services.
FSC seal of approval
As already mentioned, this seal guarantees the promotion of responsible forestry. The "Forest Stewardship Council" controversialllates the processing and trade chain as well as ecological and social principles. The aim is to promote the preservation of forests. Sustainable furniture made from FSC-certified wood is therefore responsible, resource-saving and environmentally friendly. The same applies to PEFC-tested sustainable furniture.
Öko Control is an association of around 50 committed furniture dealers. These have defined strict criteria for sustainable furniture that is healthy and free of harmful substances. Only those who adhere to these will receive the seal. The criteria refer not only to sustainable solid wood furniture, but also to upholstery and upholstery fabrics.
Fair Trade Cotton certificate
Sustainable furniture must also meet environmental protection requirements when it comes to textiles. For example, the Fair Trade Cotton certificate honors cotton products that are manufactured under fair working conditionsrden. Organic cultivation and the use of chemicals are strictly controlled. Only those who are 100% fair will be certified.
Image source & copyright by hülsta Möbel (certified with the Blue Angel)
In general, it is important to do your own research before buying new furniture and to question its sustainability. If everyone starts with themselves and their own home, we are already one big step closer to an environmentally conscious way of life and a protected environment.
Overview of key facts
- Sustainable furniture is not only healthier and more environmentally friendly than conventional variants. In addition, they are often made with more mindfulness, which is why they are not only timeless and detailed, but also durable. Accordingly, a slightly higher investment will pay off in the future.
- Eco Design has long since shaken off its dusty image. In place of rough surfaces and scratchy fabrics, filigree craftsmanship, ultra-modern design and super-soft fabrics have emerged. In addition, sustainable furniture is often made in factories. Natural materials are used - and resource-saving, which is why the pieces are not only timeless and environmentally friendly, but also exclusive.
- In a nutshell: the comfort of a sustainable piece of furniture can be enjoyed to the fullest, since neither people, nor nature, the environment or other living things have been negatively affected by the manufacture. So you can relax with a clear conscience.
Buy sustainable furniture
It is always important to support local manufacturers and small businesses. If there is none nearby, you can have nice ones here Brands for sustainable furniture discover to upgrade your home in a stylish and environmentally friendly way.