When it comes to creating a healthy home environment, the furniture you choose can have a significant impact. Unfortunately, many traditional furnishings are made from unsustainable and even toxic materials that can pose risks to both your family and the environment.
To address this issue, Sustainable Jungle has compiled a list of the best sustainable furniture companies, with a focus on low-impact materials and ethical production practices. From sofas to beds and everything in between, these companies offer eco-friendly options for every room in your home. Whether you’re a seasoned sustainable shopper or just starting out, this guide aims to make the process of buying eco-friendly furniture a little less daunting.
Sustainable Furniture Manufacturers For A Healthy Home
When it comes to creating a healthy and sustainable home, choosing the right furniture is crucial. Fortunately, there are plenty of eco-friendly furniture brands that offer stylish and sustainable options. In this section, we will explore some of the best sustainable furniture manufacturers that offer a range of products, from sofas and beds to bar stools and coffee tables.
Burrow is a popular eco-friendly sofa brand that offers a range of modern and sustainable living room furniture. Their seating is made with a Baltic birch frame, steel hardware, and a choice of steel or sustainably sourced wooden legs. The upholstery is made with upcycled olefin, polyester, Italian leather, and velvet. Burrow also offers a range of bed frames, dressers, nightstands, benches, shelves, coffee tables, and outdoor furniture. The company offers eco-friendly furniture made in the USA, Vietnam, India, Poland, and Mexico, and they cut out the middleman by selling directly to customers.
Medley is a sustainable furniture manufacturer that offers timeless and durable furniture for every room in the house. Their furniture is made with domestically-sourced and FSC-certified wood like kiln-dried alder, solid walnut and maple, and low VOC plywood. The wood is finished with USDA organic natural furniture polish made with beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil. Medley also offers a range of eco-friendly materials, including OEKO-TEX cruelty-free Eco Wool, natural jute webbing, GOTS-certified organic cotton upholstery lining, and either recycled or Greenguard Gold-certified synthetics. All of their pieces are free of VOC adhesives, fire retardants, fluorocarbons, heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives, phthalates, formaldehyde, and azo dyes. Medley’s furniture is built to last, and their alder hardwood frames are backed by a lifetime warranty, while mattresses come with a twenty-year warranty.
3. Etsy Reclaimed Furniture
Etsy Reclaimed is a great place to shop for affordable and sustainable furniture made from recycled materials. The platform offers a near-constant influx of new designs and shops, with plenty of unique pieces, from reclaimed barrel wine holders to coffee tables made of salvaged driftwood. Etsy Reclaimed is home to a high concentration of American-made furniture brands, and it allows customers to “Stand with Small”, which supports independent artisans and craftsmen. Many of the items are handmade-to-order, guaranteeing top-notch craftsmanship, one-of-a-kind pieces, and less waste. Etsy is powered by 100% renewable energy and offsets 100% of carbon emissions from sellers’ shipping.
4. Made Trade
Made Trade is a curated ethical furniture collection that offers a range of fair trade furniture for the home. Customers can shop by purpose or value, including BIPOC Owned, Women Owned, Fair Trade, Handcrafted, Recycled and Upcycled, Made in USA, and more. Made Trade’s furniture collection includes KAZI’s gorgeous woven grass side tables and headboards and MBare’s FSC-certified natural cane love seats.
5. Maiden Home
Maiden Home is a sustainable furniture manufacturer that offers handcrafted furniture made in the USA. Their furniture is made with responsibly sourced materials, including kiln-dried hardwood frames, organic cotton upholstery, and eco-friendly foam. Maiden Home’s furniture is designed to last, and they offer a lifetime warranty on their frames and suspension systems.
6. Masaya & Co.
Masaya & Co. is a sustainable furniture manufacturer that offers a range of handcrafted furniture made in Nicaragua. Their furniture is made with sustainably harvested hardwoods, including teak, mahogany, and rosewood, and they use eco-friendly finishes and dyes. Masaya & Co. also partners with local artisans and cooperatives to support sustainable livelihoods and preserve traditional craftsmanship.
7. What WE Make
What WE Make is a sustainable furniture manufacturer that offers a range of eco-friendly furniture made in the USA. Their furniture is made with FSC-certified hardwoods, eco-friendly finishes, and non-toxic adhesives. What WE Make also offers a range of custom furniture options, allowing customers to choose the perfect size, color, and style for their home.
8. Urban Wood Goods
Urban Wood Goods is a sustainable furniture manufacturer that offers a range of furniture made with reclaimed wood. Their furniture is made in the USA and includes everything from dining tables and desks to bookcases and benches. Urban Wood Goods also offers a range of custom furniture options, allowing customers to choose the perfect size, color, and style for their home.
Avocado is a sustainable furniture manufacturer that offers a range of eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, and pillows.
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How We Choose The Most Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Furniture Brands
When it comes to sustainable furniture, the materials used are of utmost importance. Ethical wood furniture is the top choice among sustainable furniture materials, as it is biodegradable. The most sustainable wood furniture options are cork and eco-friendly bamboo furniture since both of these materials are renewable, regenerative, and fast-growing.
While hardwoods such as beech, maple, and oak are popular, they can take hundreds of years to reach maturity. Virgin hardwoods are not ideal, but if the hardwood is reclaimed or sustainably sourced, it is considered sustainable. Plywood and particle wood, also known as composite woods, should be avoided as they are less durable and typically include toxic adhesives and formaldehyde treatments.
To ensure non-toxic furniture, finishes and glues that are non-toxic, organic, or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) are preferred. For upholstered pieces, synthetic fabrics should be avoided unless recycled, and natural fabrics such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp are recommended. Foam cushioning made of natural latex is the best option, while “eco-friendly” soy foams should be avoided due to the massive deforestation caused by soy farming in South America.
Certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), GREENGUARD, OEKO-TEX, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), MADE SAFE, Global Recycle Standard (GRS), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), CertiPUR-US®, and eco-INSTITUT® are also important factors to consider.
Supply Chain & Labor Practices
Affordable sustainable furniture is desirable, but not when it comes at the expense of laborers. Brands that manufacture their furniture products in small workshops in the USA typically have stricter labor standard baselines. Third-party manufacturing certifications that ensure fair and safe working practices are also preferred. Certifications such as B Corporation, Fair Trade, Fair Trade Federation (FTF), and International Labor Organization (ILO) are good indicators of ethical labor practices.
Carbon Commitments & Green Practices
Sustainable furniture should be efficient and functional. Fair trade modular furniture that is easily disassembled is ideal as it is less likely to be discarded in the event of a move. Handcrafted sustainable furniture requires less energy and produces fewer emissions than machine-made furniture. Custom-made furniture is even better as it is made-to-order, preventing unsold stock.
Companies committed to reducing their carbon footprint through renewable energy, carbon offset programs, and low-waste packaging are also preferred.
Community & Charitable Endeavors
Ethical furniture companies that support their artisan communities or give back to social or environmental organizations are highly regarded.
Final Thoughts On Ethical Furniture Brands
Investing in sustainable furniture is worth the effort, whether you are furnishing your home for the first time, replacing old furniture, or upgrading your home office with an eco-friendly desk. It is important to remember to only buy new furniture when necessary, as the most sustainable furniture is the furniture you already own, followed by secondhand furniture. By choosing sustainable and ethical furniture brands, you can create a greener and healthier home.