Thoughts of sustainable living and an eco-friendly lifestyle usually conjures up images of recycling your papers and cardboard and composting your food scraps at home. But did you know that sustainable living can extend much further than these practices and actually become part of your interior design? Yes – that’s right! Your home can be sustainable in many different ways. When it comes to decorating and furnishing your house, you can make environmentally responsible decisions by choosing to shop with furniture companies that value ethical sourcing and eco-friendly practices to create premium furniture that won’t cost the earth.
One of these sustainable furniture companies is SLH. Specialising in creating premium contemporary designer furniture from ethically sourced materials using environmentally conscious practices, SLH are here to tell you why you should consider choosing sustainable furniture when you’re decorating your home. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Sustainable furniture reduces your carbon footprint
Sustainable furniture is not only about reusing or recycling materials. In fact, for a piece of furniture to qualify as being sustainable, there are four elements and their environmental impact that are taken into consideration before furniture is labelled as being sustainable. These are: materials (what is it made from), transportation, the building process, and the final piece’s durability.
Within each of these elements the following criteria needs to be met:
Materials: the materials used to make sustainable furniture can be quite varied, but they need to be either recycled goods, reclaimed materials, or derived from a source that has a low impact on the environment. Some sustainable materials commonly used include bamboo, which is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, and boatwood from decommissioned fishing vessels.
Transportation and Building Process: Even if the materials used to make the furniture are environmentally friendly, the furniture itself may not be considered sustainable if the building and transportation processes are not carefully considered. To mitigate this, truly sustainable furniture companies look for materials that are ethically and locally sourced and often handcraft the furniture rather than use lots of machinery.
Durability: the furniture created needs to be able to withstand the test of time and be long-lasting. The aim is to reduce household waste, which includes furniture!
2. Makes use of discarded materials
It might be hard to believe, but some of the most beautiful, premium designer pieces are actually made from discarded materials. Instead of contributing to landfills, these once lifeless and discarded materials can be transformed into spectacular pieces. Timber is a particularly versatile and adaptable material that can have it’s appearance change completely once it has gone through curing, sanding and finishing processes.
3. Sustainable materials help to create unique pieces
One of the most beautiful aspects of sustainable furniture is that each piece has a truly unique story. Even when the same designs are used to build the actual structure of the piece, when using reclaimed and recycled materials, the unique markings of the materials’ former life can make a truly individual piece. It’s exciting to think about the materials’ former life before they have been transformed into an amazing piece in your home!
4. Reduces deforestation
As we mentioned before, the materials used to create sustainable furniture are not always recycled or reclaimed, rather they can be natural materials, like wood and bamboo for example, as long as they have been sustainably and ethically sourced. Many sustainable furniture companies take steps to ensure they are working with suppliers who harvest their materials from ethical sources. When it comes to materials like timbers such as oak, walnut and teak, all of which SLH use in their designs, this will often involve working with suppliers who offer FSC accredited timbers. What this means is that the forests from which the timbers and materials have been harvested are carefully and responsibly managed to ensure their practices are socially beneficial, economically viable and of course, environmentally conscious.
5. Any kind of furniture can be sustainably made
Just because you’re opting for a piece of furniture that has been made ethically and sustainably, it doesn’t mean you can only get certain things. Many furniture brands that offer sustainable pieces, like SLH, offer pieces for every room of the home, including both indoor and outdoor furniture. Whether you’re looking for a contemporary sleek bed frame, a classically simple entertainment unit, or a modern kitchen stool, you’ll be able to find something that will not only suit your home’s aesthetic, but also be sustainably made.
You may not realise it, but furniture, homewares and décor are some of the biggest contributors to landfill and have a significant impact on the environment. But they don’t have to. By making eco-friendlier choices, like investing in sustainable furniture, you can help reduce your environmental impact. Consider supporting local manufacturers and furniture companies who truly value the planet and make an effort to reduce their environmental footprint, like the team at SLH.